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article imageChinese couple with 8 ‘test-tube’ babies faces hefty fine

By Igor I. Solar     Dec 18, 2012 in World
Zhaoqing - A couple of Zhaoqing, Guangdong province of China, who had octuplets through in vitro fertilization and use of surrogate mothers, faces millions in fines.
Authorities in Zhaoqing, where the couple resides, are investigating the case of multiple births after a photo of the eight babies, born in 2010, was recently posted online causing controversy in China about the one-child policy and how wealthy families are able to ignore the regulations.
Local rules indicate that a couple who has more than one child must pay three to six times the previous year's income. In this case, having had octuplets, the family apparently wealthy, should pay a fine of between 5 and 10 billion yuan (equivalent to US$ 0.8 to 1.6 million).
According to Chinese media, the couple had trouble conceiving children and invested one million yuan (US$ 160,000) in a reproductive treatment in Hong Kong. The IVF (in-vitro fertilization) program included the implantation of several embryos in the mother and simultaneously in two "surrogate mothers". All embryos developed successfully.
"Apart from the triplets the mother delivered, the couple was found through a thorough investigation to have sought another two surrogate mothers to give birth to twins and another to triplets," said Zhang Lifeng, an official with Guangdong's Health Supervision Institute, according to GBTimes.
The one-child policy was introduced in China in late 1970’s to curb overpopulation. According to government statistics the policy has reduced annual population growth from 1.07 percent in the decade 1990 to 2000 to a rate of 0.57 percent over the past decade (2000-2010).
In recent years there have been calls to relax the policy, especially in more developed areas of China, including Guangdong province, where the increase of the population may not be sufficient to meet the future demands of the labor market.
More about Ivf, China, birth control policy, Overpopulation, Octuplets
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