BI bars ‘surrogates’ from China trip

TWO Filipinas who admitted they were recruited to become surrogate mothers in China were barred by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from leaving the country.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the ‘victims’ checked in at a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Hong Kong when they were intercepted by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) at the immigration departure area of the NAIA terminal 3.

The two, aged 32 and 28, reportedly agreed to the arrangement out of poverty. Both were former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and said they needed the money to support their families.

“They immediately confessed during interview that they were actually bound for China where their services as surrogate mothers were engaged for a fee of P300,000,” Medina said in his report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, adding that both victims said that their visas will be processed in Hong Kong.

A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person and a surrogacy arrangement is usually sought when pregnancy is medically impossible or when pregnancy risks are too dangerous for the intended mother.

Medina said the women were intercepted after seeing that the arrangement exploits women whose wombs are treated as commodities to meet the reproductive needs of rich people who are unable to bear a child.

He said that in a similar case in 2018, a total of 32 women were held in Cambodia for being surrogate mothers in an illegal surrogacy ring supplying services for Chinese clients.