Taiwan ministry proposes legalising surrogacy & assisted reproduction for single women, lesbian couples

Deadline for public feedback set at July 13.

Fiona Tan | May 15, 2024, 06:08 PM



Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare is proposing to legalise surrogacy and assisted reproduction for single women and lesbian couples.

Proposed amendments to the Assisted Reproduction Act

Taipei Times reported that the ministry released draft amendments to the Assisted Reproduction Act on May 14, 2024.

The amendments also listed the rights that should be granted to surrogate mothers, and couples and unmarried women undergoing assisted reproduction.

For instance, assisted reproduction must be non-compensatory, but those seeking the service must provide the surrogate mother with the necessary funds under a designated account, as well as insurance.

The surrogate mother may not begin the process until the insurance policy has gone into effect, and the couple is banned from terminating the contract while the surrogate is carrying the child, the draft states.

The amendments also state that unmarried women undergoing assisted reproductive procedure are banned from using specific sperm donations, and same-sex partners are prohibited from using sperm or eggs of their immediate family and close kin.

The amendments also detailed how donated sperm and eggs are to be used, and the official contract for same-sex couples and those seeking surrogacy.

Low fertility rate

Taiwan is not alone in Asia for having low fertility rates.

According to CNNciting 2022 data, Taiwan's Total Fertility Rate (the number of births from a woman in her lifetime), was 0.87.

This was below Singapore (1.05) and Japan (1.26), and only slightly higher than South Korea (0.87).

CNN quoted Chen Ching Hui, a doctor elected as a member of the opposition Kuomintang party, who said that one of her top priorities as a lawmaker is to boost access to assisted reproduction.

Despite the Kuomintang's social conservatism, Chen said she hoped that the topic of surrogacy would continue to be discussed, and passed during her four-year term.

Deadline for public feedback set at Jul. 13

Taiwan's Health Promotion Administration (HPA) has set a deadline for public feedback to the proposed amendments for July 13.

In the meantime, HPA said it is hopeful that the proposed amendments can be forwarded to the Executive Yuan, the executive branch of Taiwan's government, for review by the end of 2024.

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