In 2017, a Chinese garment factory owner was arrested on human trafficking charges. Allegedly, Wu Wenjun and his wife were accused of trying to take a one-year-old boy from Cambodia to China for purposes of selling him. However, the couple says that this is not the case, at all. According to the couple they never planned to sell the child, but instead to show him to their family in China. They claim the child is their son, born by surrogacy through a Cambodian woman who is the genetic surrogate.
The couple took their child, who was a year old at the time, to process travel documents so they could take him to China. Instead of receiving the documents they needed, Wu Wenjun was arrested by the anti-trafficking police. The woman who gave birth to the child, Hun Daneth, was also arrested but was not jailed. Complicating this case is whether there was ever any kind of formal agreement for surrogacy or any papers signed by the couple and the genetic surrogate.
Many countries have these options when it comes to surrogacy arrangements, but the paperwork has to be in place. There’s no mention of any type of legal surrogacy agreement, which is likely why the couple was detained. Whether they claim the child as theirs or not, they need a legal agreement in order to be considered his parents. The child’s genetic surrogate would also need to agree to the adoption of the child, or to her role as a genetic surrogate.
There is a court hearing on January 24th, to determine whether Wu Wenjun’s appeal will be successful. Without a formal agreement, though, it may be unlikely that he and his wife will be cleared of charges and allowed to keep the child as their own.
To learn how working with The Surrogacy Law Center can help protect your legal rights throughout the surrogacy journey, contact us today!