China forbids their official sperm banks from supplying single women with donor sperm. So, if you are an unmarried woman in China and you want to have a baby, a growing option is to seek a sperm donor abroad.
Thousands of Chinese business women are choosing to do this. As a newly affluent class of female entrepreneurs take the stage, they are keen to take control of their own fertility.
Take 39 year old Xiaogunzhu for example. She is clear – she wants a child, but she is not in the market for a husband
She chose from childhood photos of European sperm donors to select a French-Irish donor from a Californian sperm bank.
She then flew to the US to complete the first rounds of her IVF process, and was successful
She now has a 9 month old baby called Oscar, named after a comic about the French revolution.
Over the past five years, the Chinese marriage rate has been in decline
Xiaogunzhu states, “There are many women who won’t get married, so they might not fulfil this fundamental biological mission. But I felt another path had opened up.”
In China, women who are highly educated and are powerful in business often face discrimination. Sociologist Sandy To explains that their potential male partners often have “difficulty accepting their higher educational or economic accomplishments.” That’s why successful women like Xiaogunzhu decide to tackle motherhood on their own.
Experts predict that the Chinese fertility market could be worth a staggering US$1.5 billion by 2022, which is twice its 2016 value. However, this doesn’t take women who travel abroad for services, like Xiaogunzhu, into account.
Overseas fertility services are more popular than ever for Chinese women, and this is spurring international interest
Danish sperm and egg bank Cryos International recently added Chinese-speaking staff, and have translated their website into Chinese.
Chinese women looking to follow in Xiaogunzhu’s footsteps need to be prepared to foot the hefty bill.
However, the journey is neither cheap nor easy
The fertility process with a foreign sperm bank begins at 200,000 yuan (US$28,447), and can climb if additional cycles are needed. Women must travel abroad for all of the treatments, as China’s laws ban the importation of sperm.
Women in China are also increasingly keen to have mixed race babies, with some tending to choose white donors even when Chinese options are available. Xi Hao, a clinical coordinator in Beijing, confirms this. “Basically, the selected sperm donors are mostly white.”
One mother who chose a foreign donor revealed, “I personally don’t care about the color of the skin. I only care that I have a healthy baby, the eyes are big and the features are good.”
What do you think about the boom of Chinese women seeking foreign sperm donors? Would you consider doing the same? Are you a Chinese woman who has had a child using sperm donation? Would you like to share your story? We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or why not share on social media @ivbabble