The news of China’s “octomom” who used two surrogates to conceive eight children simultaneously in December 2011 shone the spotlight on China’s underground industry of surrogate mothers, said a new report by The Guardian.
The Guardian reported that, “the surrogate industry is preparing for an upswing in business with parents rushing to have a baby in the luckiest lunar year.” Authorities in Shanghai are expecting 180,000 babies to be born in 2012, about 10 percent more than the previous year.
The Guardian tracked down a surrogate mother, Gao, who is looking for her next client as the time left for her to be a surrogate runs out. Surrogates can reportedly earn anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 yuan ($15,889 - $47,666). A Chinese newspaper, Southern Metropolis Weekly, estimated that 25,000 children were born in China in the past 30 years.
The case of the wealthy couple spending $158,000 and two surrogates in addition to in vitro fertilization to flout China’s one-child policy drew severe criticism from the Chinese public, with people weighing in on Chinese social media with comments like, “In this society, if you have money, you can have miracles!” and “Having children is now a luxurious game for the rich,” reported The Los Angeles Times.
More on GlobalPost: China's one-child rule flouted by wealthy 'octomom'
With the expected baby boom, authorities are also warning parents against “birth tours” or trying to flout the one-child policy by giving birth in Hong Kong, said the Associated Press.