1. Is surrogacy regulated in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, surrogacy is regulated by the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance.
The Ordinance is designed to regulate reproductive technology procedures, and the use of embryos and gametes for research and other purposes; to confine the provision of reproductive technology procedures to infertile couples, subject to any express provision to the contrary in any code; and to regulate surrogacy arrangements (whereby the woman to whom it relates would be a surrogate mother if she carries a child pursuant to the arrangement).
The Ordinance states that no person may carry on any activity which consists of or involves:
- providing a reproductive technology procedure;
- conducting embryo research; or
- handling, storing or disposing of a gamete or embryo used or intended to be used in connection with a reproductive technology procedure or embryo research;
unless the person has a licence to do so.
The Council on Human Productive Technology was established to regulate the issues discussed above.
It should be noted that a surrogate mother is not a “parent” of the child in law.
For more information about the Ordinance and the Council on Human Productive Technology, please visit Matrimonial Matters > Surrogacy and artificial insemination > Overview .
2. Can any adult female be a surrogate mother?
The suitability of a woman to be a surrogate mother should be assessed by a registered medical practitioner who is not responsible for the reproductive technology procedures regarding the surrogacy, by taking into account the woman’s marital status, history of pregnancy, and physical and mental fitness to carry a baby.
Counselling must be provided by a multi-disciplinary team of the reproductive technology centre for the commissioning couple, and surrogate mother and her husband (if any) to ensure that all parties concerned understand the medical, social, legal, moral and ethical implications of surrogacy. In assessing the surrogate mother (and her husband, if any) and the commissioning couple, the welfare of the child is of paramount importance.
It should be noted that a surrogate mother is the legal mother of the child unless a parental order made by the court says otherwise.
For more details, you may refer to Matrimonial Matters > Surrogacy and artificial insemination > Surrogacy .
3. Can I pay someone to be a surrogate mother?
The Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance prohibits surrogacy arrangements on a commercial basis.
Any person must not make or receive any payments for initiating or taking part in any negotiations with a view to the making of a surrogacy arrangement; offering or agreeing to negotiate the making of a surrogacy arrangement; or compiling any information with a view to its use in making, or negotiating the making of surrogacy arrangements, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere.
To understand more about this issue, please go to Matrimonial Matters > Surrogacy and artificial insemination > Acts prohibited by the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance .
4. Can I choose the gender of my baby by making use of human reproductive technology?
The Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance sets out prohibitions in connection with embryos, against sex selection and against the provision of reproductive technology to unmarried couples.
No person shall, by means of a reproductive technology procedure, cause the sex of an embryo to be selected, whether directly or indirectly (including by the implantation of an embryo of a particular sex in the body of a woman), except where the purpose of such selection is to avoid a sex-linked genetic disease specified in the Ordinance which may prejudice the health of the embryo (including any foetus, child or adult which may arise from the embryo); and not less than two registered medical practitioners each state in writing that such selection is for that purpose and such disease would be sufficiently severe to a person suffering it to justify such selection.
If you want to know what other acts are prohibited by the law, please go to Matrimonial Matters > Surrogacy and artificial insemination > Acts prohibited by the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance.