|An IVF procedure being performed at Hùng Vương General Hospital in HCM City. Photo courtesy of Hùng Vương General Hospital|
HCM CITY — The Ministry of Health has given sanction to the Hùng Vương General Hospital in HCM City to carry out surrogate pregnancies on humanitarian grounds, making it the country’s fourth public facility to be approved.
The hospital’s director, Dr Hoàng Thị Diễm Tuyết, said applications were already coming in for surrogacy procedures.
Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproductive technology in which an embryo is created using an egg and sperm produced by a couple and transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.
The Law on Marriage and Family was amended to allow surrogacy in 2015.
To be eligible, a clinic must be performing at least 1,000 cycles of IVF (in vitro fertilisation) per year.
Surrogacy is a highly complex process that requires among other things extensive counselling and legal assessment.
Việt Nam’s first surrogate baby was born in 2016 at Hà Nội’s Central Maternity Hospital to a 38-year-old woman from the northern province of Ninh Bình.
The Law on Marriage and Family allows close relatives to become surrogate mothers and surrogacy is permitted only in cases where the woman, for health reasons, is physically incapable of having children.
A surrogate mother must be between 21 and 40 and physically healthy and already have at least one child. If she is married, she must also have her husband’s consent. A woman can be a surrogate only once.
The three public hospitals previously permitted by the ministry for surrogacy are the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hà Nội, the General Hospital in Huế city and the Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital in HCM City.
Mỹ Đức General Hospital in HCM City is the only private facility to be approved.
The fee is equal to an IVF procedure, which costs an average of VNĐ60 million (US$2,570).
In Việt Nam, around 20,000 cases of IVF are performed every year, according to the ministry. — VNS