A vast majority of married but infertile women in China are now resorting to illegal means to conceive a child, reports Mid Day.
"Infertile" and "desperate", married women are asking illegal operators to find them ovum from willing donors that could help them conceive a child. The donors stand to earn about 20,000 yuan ($2,936) by offering an egg, the Global Times reported citing donor agencies.
A report on people.com.cn in May said one in eight couples have infertility problems, which is 10 times higher than what was 30 years ago.
The report said most patients seeking fertility treatment were between 25 and 30 and half of them were female.
This has proliferated private businesses that pay women to donate their ovum. Some agencies are advertising openly for donors, specifically asking for women under 30 and without a major health problem.
While such donations are legal if conducted by medical professionals in hospitals, private agencies that perform such operations are not legitimate, the report said.
A worker at an agency said they welcome university graduates under 28 and who are 162 cm tall to donate an ovum. Donors receive 10,000 yuan before the operation and 10,000 yuan after it.
Another worker at the China Surrogate Finder Agency said the recipients need to pay between 30,000 yuan ($4,404) and 60,000 yuan ($8,808) to the donors. In addition, the recipient must fork over 60,000 yuan for the surgeon and 30,000 yuan in hospital fees.
Yet another employee at an agency said hospitals require the donor to show a marriage certificate, but single women can still donate eggs.
"We fix this problem by faking a marriage certificate. But you need to tell the doctor that you are married even though we have already communicated with the doctor before you go," she said.
A regulation issued by the ministry of health says trading of sperm, eggs and embryos is banned in China. Illegal trading of sperms and eggs is subject to a maximum fine of 30,000 yuan ($4,404).