|The amended law allows surrogate pregnancies to meet the "realistic needs" of many couples who cannot have children but wish to become parents. — Photo baomoi
HA NOI (VNS) — Only three hospitals in the country – one each in the north, south and central regions – will be allowed to carry out procedures on surrogate mothers in Viet Nam, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien has announced.
The three hospitals are: the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology Ha Noi; the Central Hospital in the north, the Hue City; and the Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital in HCM City.
Independent committees will be set up at these hospitals to evaluate eligible surrogate mothers and couples, who have to meet both health and kinship conditions.
Tien's announcement, carried in a VNA report on Thursday, follows the Ministry of Health formulating implementation guidelines for the amended Marriage and Family Law recently passed by the National Assembly.
The amended law allows surrogate pregnancies to meet the "realistic needs" of many couples who cannot have children but wish to become parents.
Tien said surrogacy was a medical advancement that would enable women physically incapable of bearing children to have their own child.
Before surrogacy was legalised, many Vietnamese couples went abroad to get it done, but faced difficulties obtaining legal papers for their children after they returned to Viet Nam.
Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the ministry's Legal Department, was cited in the report as saying wives would be allowed to have surrogate babies only in three cases: if they did not have a womb because of congenital malformation; if they had their womb removed; and if they could not become pregnant because of other medical reasons.
These strict regulations would discourage the practice of commercial surrogacy, Quang said.
In other news, the Government has issued a decree on implementing the Marriage and Family Law that seeks to prevent "backward" customs like early marriages (below the legal minimum age), forced marriages and prevention of marriages on ethnic or religious grounds.
The decree bans consanguineous (inter-family marriages) for four generations (i.e. marriages with first, second and third cousins), polygamy and dowry.
The Government has asked relevant ministries, sectors and People's Committees at all levels to work together with the Viet Nam Fatherland Front to build and implement policies and measures that will encourage people to comply with all provisions of the Marriage and Family Law.
They have also been asked to popularise the laws towards promoting good practices and eliminating backward customs. — VNS