Availability locally 

Hong Kong enacted legislation allowing legally recognised surrogacy and a transfer of parentage to the intended parents in 2007. To engage in surrogacy in Hong Kong  

  • applicants must be a married heterosexual couple 
  • applicants must not use an egg donor or the surrogates’ own eggs 
  • the arrangement must be altruistic (no payments to surrogates beyond expenses)  
  • surrogacy agreements are not enforceable 

Unfortunately the eligibility conditions attached to this legislation have meant few couples engage in local surrogacy.  Many intended parents requiring surrogacy will also require donor eggs and these regulations forbid this. Hong Kong IVF clinics do not even list surrogacy-related services on their websites.  These restrictions are tighter than in most other countries which have introduced domestic surrogacy laws

Cross-Border Options 

Instead most Hong Kong residents who cannot carry a child naturally yet yearn to be parents look further afield, to the limited number of countries which do allow surrogacy. For example some US states, some Canadian provinces, Ukraine, Georgia, Greece and Russia all have laws providing binding contracts and recognising foreigners as the legal parent in surrogacy arrangements. 

Financial Issues 

Surrogacy requires a substantial financial investment given the many components involved. These may include egg donor recruitment and compensation, surrogate recruitment, expenses, care and compensation, expert IVF techniques, embryo shipping, travel costs, legal representation for both surrogate and intended parents and birth-related costs. This will mean total costs of HK400,000 – 1250,000. 

Most countries do not provide health insurance for foreigners engaging in surrogacy, so the risk of unforeseen medical costs may need to be carefully managed, particularly in countries like the USA, where medical costs can quickly spiral. Opting for single rather than double embryo transfer is the best means of reducing risk, as this means a substantially lower risk of a twin pregnancy, thus reducing miscarriage rates, pre-term delivery and pregnancy complications requiring additional bed-rest 

Passports & Citizenship for Children via Surrogacy 

Entry to Hong Kong for children post surrogacy is fairly straightforward, though parents would benefit from talking to others who have completed the process.

Specialist Hong Kong Lawyers

The lawyers below all have experience in surrogacy-related cases for Hong Kong nationals

Anita Yip anitahky@netvigator.com
Friven Yeoh fyeoh@sidley.com
Jonathan Mok jonathan.mok@jmoklegal.com