American surrogacy agencies have flooded into Taiwan after the legalisation of same-sex marriage in May last year. Commercial surrogacy is still illegal there, so the agencies arrange IVF and surrogates in the relatively unregulated United States.
According to a report in The Japan Times, “hundreds of gay couples are willing to pay up to $140,000 to start a family — almost 10 times the average annual salary”
Men Having Babies, a New York-based non-profit that helps gay men become fathers through surrogacy, hosted its first conference for prospective Asian gay parents in Taipei in March.
About 320 people attended, forcing the organizers to request a space twice the size of the room originally booked.
“People were revelling in it. They were proud of the fact this was happening,” said group founder Ron Poole-Dayan, who was part of one of the first same-sex couples in the United States to father children through gestational surrogacy.
American Fertility Services, San Diego Fertility Center and International Surrogacy Center were among the sponsors of the event, which included a panel on budgeting, testimonies from parents and surrogates and on-site consultations with clinics
Gay couples in Taiwan have few options for commercial surrogacy. It is no longer legal for foreigners in India and Thailand. It is not illegal, but risky, in Cambodia.
Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge
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