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Agencies match infertile couples with women in US

Reporter: May Lee 丨 CCTV.com

05-30-2016 09:44 BJT

A growing number of Chinese families are hiring American surrogates to have children. One reason is that a baby born in the US is automatically an American citizen. California is the most popular state for surrogacy because of its relaxed laws.

Mario Caballero travels to China often for business, but what he's selling is a bit out of the ordinary. 

Caballero is the founder and CEO of Extraordinary Conceptions, a surrogacy agency. In the past few years, business from China, where surrogacy is illegal, has been booming. 

The California-based agency has 10 to 15 Chinese clients per month. That's about 65% of the agency's total clientele.

Tere Banuet will be a surrogate this year for a Chinese couple who tried and failed several times to have a child on their own. 

"They're always saying 'thank you thank you thank you so much' and honestly, it just feels good to be appreciated and that somebody is depending on you to give them what they've been wanting for so many years," said Tere Banuet surrogate.

There will receive about $30,000 to be a surrogate, but the overall cost to the family receiving the child can be as high as $225 thousand for medical and legal fees and donor eggs if necessary.

"The reasons for the rise in demand for American surrogates in China are many. Better medical care is one, the ability to choose the sex, illegal in China, is another. And instant American citizenship for the baby is also a factor," said May Lee Los Angeles.

Demand is also being fueled by a boom in middle agents in China who help match potential clients with US agencies. 

"We get a middle agent almost every other week who comes to us and says I want to work with you and I have 10-15 clients so they're bringing in an influx of clients from China," said Mario Cabarello, founder & CEO extraordinary conceptions.

Linda Zhang is a middle agent in Shanghai. She started USA Mum more than three years ago after she successfully had a baby boy using an American surrogate.

"When I was in my 20s, surrogacy was unimaginable. How could you pay someone to have your babies.  But when you're truly faced with a tough situation, you're more understanding. There are many others who are struggling. The infertility rate in China is 18%," said Linda Zhang, Owner USA mum.

Zhang charges about $15,000 to help Chinese couples find surrogacy centers in the U.S. But she says it's not about the money.

"Now it's more about happiness. Especially in recent years. In over three years, our company has helped many clients. There are babies born every month. Just today, I learned a client from Beijing is now going to have twins so I'm very happy," said Linda Zhang, Owner USA mum.

Which means for many who choose surrogacy, money can indeed buy happiness.

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