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In order to get access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments in China today, women need to show their marriage certificates. So, single women who want IVF need to go to other countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, or the United States, where they don’t face discrimination because of their marital status.
However, as the population of the country ages, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission is re-evaluating their position on who should be eligible for IVF. Rather than deciding to allow single women to access IVF out of human rights concerns, the Commission is coming at the decision from a concern that the country’s workforce is aging; estimates are that by 2050, there will be just 424 million people in the workforce in China and that another 487 million people will be age 60 or older. Regardless, the end result would be the same.
A change in the law, allowing IVF for both single and married women, also seems to be something Chinese residents favor. Although at least one Chinese province has legalized IVF for single women since 2002, women there still haven’t been able to access treatments because providers have been following the national law.
Even some married women from China seek fertility treatments in other countries, in part because there has been increased demand for IVF since China relaxed its “One Child” policy in 2016. According to the Commission’s estimated numbers, 90 million Chinese women were eligible to have a second child after the country’s family planning policies changed. With limited fertility clinics available, women can wait months for consultation appointments.
Regardless what country you’re in or where you plan to undergo IVF or other fertility treatments, working with a reproductive rights attorney can help you protect your rights and interests. Some of the services we provide to assisting our clients include counseling future parents, surrogates, egg donors, sperm donors and embryo donors on the state of the law with respect to the different reproduction methods available; drafting of contract(s) between the parents and their surrogate, egg donor, sperm donor or embryo donor; and assisting future parents in finalizing their parental rights. Contact us today to learn more!