Babies Stranded in Suburban Chicago, Thousands of Miles From Parents, Because of Bureaucratic Delays

Sylvia Perez | Fox 32 Chicago | April 21, 2021

Surrogacy-born babies in suburban Chicago continue to be stranded 15 months into the pandemic, miles away from their intended parents in Taiwan and China. Embassies there are not accepting in-person appointments, so the parents cannot obtain the necessary travel documents to pick up their children. One surrogacy agency worker and her husband have cared for four such babies in the last year during these bureaucratic delays.

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China’s LGBTQ Community Is the Hidden Victim of a Celebrity Surrogacy Scandal

Koh Ewe | Vice | March 19, 2021

This article discusses the interconnectedness of surrogacy and the LGBTQ community in China. After actress Zheng Shuang’s scandal, surrogacy has garnered newfound attention and vehement scrutiny due to illegality in China as well as attention to the rights of women. LGBTQ couples voiced their worries about the negative perceptions of surrogacy impacting their ability to start families and affecting their recent progress towards societal acceptance.

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International Women’s Day: China Looks at Domestic Violence, Illegal Surrogacy, and Paternity Leave

Phoebe Zhang | South China Morning Post | March 8, 2021

This article shares policy topics about women that will be discussed at Two Sessions, China’s yearly parliamentary meetings held in Beijing. A member of the National People’s Congress proposed a stricter ban on surrogacy and the use of underground and overseas agencies to address the recent commercial boom, especially in light of the scandal of actress Zheng Shuang. The two political parties will also discuss the treatment of children born outside of marriage, single mothers’ lack of access to assistive reproductive technologies, and a hotline to report domestic violence.

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Chinese Actress ‘Abandons’ Surrogate Babies in US, Sparking Huge Online Condemnation of Surrogacy

Global Times | January 20, 2021

Zheng Shuang, a popular actress in China, has been vilified by politicians and the public after her boyfriend claimed on social media that she had abandoned him and their two surrogate-born children in the U.S. This case has received a great deal of Chinese publicity due to Zheng’s high profile along with the illegality of surrogacy in China. Some experts are expressing concerns about the objectification of women through surrogacy and the thriving underground surrogacy market in China.

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An American Surrogate Had His Baby. Then Coronavirus Hit.

By Emily Shugerman | The Daily Beast | August 01, 2020

A month before Sierra Martin, a surrogate in Washington State, US, was due to give birth, one of the intended parents asked if she could care for the baby if he was unable to travel due to the coronavirus. This article highlights the story of Martin, a single mother who has been caring for the baby for months, and Li, one of the two fathers in China who was denied entry to the US. Martin was concerned about bonding with the baby and having to give him away. Li is among hundreds of parents who face barriers retrieving their children from the US in the midst of the pandemic.

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Chinese Infants Born to Chicago-Area Surrogates Are Stranded in the U.S. Without Their Parents, Due to COVID-19: ‘I Am Missing This Kid Every Minute.’

By Nara Schoenberg | Chicago Tribune | July 22, 2020

Vicky Li, a former employee at a Chicago based surrogacy agency, and her husband, Jerry Wu, have volunteered to care for two children born to surrogates until the parents can fly to the US from China. Hundreds of intended parents from other countries have not been able to come to the US to pick up their children born to surrogates, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. According to the article, the babies are being cared for by an impromptu collection of surrogates, agency employees, baby nurses, family friends and relatives.

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Surrogacy, Assisted Reproduction, and COVID: Stark Problems, Underlying Concerns

By Emily Galpern | Center for Genetics and Society | May 27, 2020

This blogpost provides an overview of the numerous unsettling situations that have arisen since COVID-19 changed the landscape of assisted reproduction and international surrogacy.  It shows how the pandemic is illuminating pre-existing problems related to assisted reproduction and surrogacy, highlights the need for stronger regulations, and calls for input from all who will be affected.

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Surrogates Left Holding the Baby as Coronavirus Rules Strand Parents

By Sirin Kale | The Guardian | May 14, 2020

This article features the stories of surrogates, intended parents, and children born through international surrogacy arrangements, whose circumstances have been drastically altered due to coronavirus restrictions. A surrogate in the US was asked by intended parents to look after the newborn after travel limitations made them unable to travel from China. An Israeli gay couple have been stuck in a New Jersey hotel room after flying with their four year-old son to meet their baby born to a surrogate in the US. Now they are unable to fly back to Israel because they cannot obtain the proper travel documents, and face mounting costs from their unexpected lengthy stay.

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American Surrogate: 30 Months Later

By Gregory Warner | Rough Translation, NPR | April 29, 2020

In 2017, NPR ran a story of a Chinese woman who hired an American surrogate, what brought them together, and the challenges in their relationship. The original podcast is followed by interviews of the two women providing updates about their lives during the time of COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Upends Years of Planning for International Adoptions and Surrogacy Births

By Carol Morello | Washington Post | April 16, 2020

As the State Department does not consider surrogacy a life-or-death emergency, this article explores how families are navigating international surrogacy arrangements with travel to the United States, including arranging passports and travel back to home countries.

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