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Illegal surrogacy work stopped, participants fined

By WANG XU | | Updated: 2023-09-18 16:30
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Officers from the Health Inspection Institute of Shenzhen's Longhua district discovered what they said was an illegal surrogate mother process taking place in a residence in the district's Meihua Villa, according to the institute's official WeChat account.

The residential villa, with five floors, contained various evidence. In the villa's warehouse, officers found multiple liquid nitrogen and gas tanks. On the second floor, in what appeared to be a packing room, they discovered washed scrubs and medical instruments, including vaginal dilators and surgical trays.

Further exploration led to a laboratory and an operating room on the third floor, connected by a transfer window used for ovum retrieval and embryo transfer. Within the laboratory, two desktop incubators were found, and inside it officers discovered five petri dishes, each labeled with different names. Adjacent to the lab, there was a liquid nitrogen tank containing a dozen special test tubes, each labeled with different names.

In the operating room, used oocyte collectors, syringes and other medical waste with liquid were found.

Consultations with law enforcement personnel and experts confirmed that the medicines and instruments found at the scene were used for surrogacy activities.

Seven individuals were found at the scene, including six women and one man. Through further investigation, officers identified the man, surnamed Chen, as the manager. The six women fulfilled various roles, including surrogate mother, ovum donors, client, lab operators and two nurses.

As a result, Chen had his earnings and related drugs and devices confiscated by the institute. Because of Chen's unauthorized practice of human assisted reproductive activity, he was fined. The other medical personnel involved in the case also received administrative penalties.

Yi Yang in Shenzhen contributed to this story.

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