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In a rare case in modern China, a wealthy couple who had eight children apparently due to fertility treatment may face hefty fines for violating the country's one child policy.
The octuplets were delivered by the wife and two surrogate mothers separately, but the births should be ruled as violating the country's family planning policy and the parents should be fined, Zhang Feng, director of the Guangdong Family Planning Commission told local media Under Chinese law, most families having more than one child are required to pay penalties.
The couple chose in vitro fertilization to conceive babies after other options failed.
Though the one child policy is stringently imposed, it was not applied to twins or more children who were born at same time.
In this case the eight embryos were implanted in wife and two surrogate mothers.
All eight embryos survived and the octuplets were born in October 2010, Shanghai Daily reported.
The wealthy family spent one million yuan (USD 157,522) on the test-tube procedure and is spending more than 100,000 yuan each month on raising them.
Health authorities in Guangdong have launched an investigation into the matter, the Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.
China has banned surrogacy since 2003.
Meanwhile, 38 medical institutions, all of which have obtained licenses for human assisted-reproduction technology services in Guangdong, will be investigated to determine whether they have been involved in illegal activities, including buying and selling gametes or embryos, providing surrogacy services, using non-certificated sperm, or checking the gender of fetuses without permission, Xinhua news agency reported.
Some surrogacy agencies charge one million yuan and have five to seven surrogate mothers become pregnant all at once, simply to ensure one of the babies is a boy. The other fetuses are aborted, the report said.