Hanoi jails members of $29,000 surrogacy ring

By Hai Thu   August 25, 2023 | 02:48 am PT
Hanoi jails members of $29,000 surrogacy ring
Dinh Thi Binh (L) and accomplices in a surrogacy ring stand before the Hanoi People's Court, Aug. 24, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Danh Lam
Members of a Hanoi surrogacy ring made up of family members received jail terms Thursday for carrying out surrogacy with forged papers at VND700 million ($29,160) per case.

Dinh Thi Binh, 30, was sentenced to five years and six months in jail by the Hanoi People’s Court for "surrogacy for commercial purposes" and "fabricating an organization's seal or documents and use thereof."

Six accomplices, including family members of Binh, were sentenced to between nine months and five years in jail. They were Du Van Linh, Binh’s husband; Dinh Thi Thien, Binh’s sister; Nguyen Ba Minh, Du Van Giang and Du Va Kien, Binh’s brothers-in-law; and Le Van Dao, a hospital employee.

In 2021, Binh went to several hospitals in Hanoi to contact people needing surrogacy, at a price of VND650-700 million for each surrogacy, plus VND30-50 million for twins.

Binh then went on Facebook to look for people to become surrogates, requiring them to be aged 18-33 and promising to pay them VND230-250 million. Those selected would be taken to an apartment in Thanh Oai District.

As hospitals require marriage certificates or other papers for in-vitro fertilization, Binh went online to hire people to forge such papers at VND500,000-1 million each. But later, Binh asked Minh and Thien, a husband and wife, to forge papers.

Once the in-vitro fertilization process was successful, the forged papers would be disposed of.

Giang and Kien were accused of helping Binh by posing as surrogates, while Dao, as a hospital employee, helped coordinate the operation.

Prosecutors said that between 2021 and April 2022, Binh’s group had carried out eight surrogacies, with two carrying single fetuses, two carrying twins, three failed pregnancies and one who had yet to be implanted.

Authorities said Binh gained VND232 million from the ordeal, while Dao gained VND15 million. The others did not earn any from the surrogacies, while Minh and Thien were paid VND10 million to forge six marriage certificates.

Vietnam only allows surrogacy for human, non-commercial purposes, and the surrogates must be family members of the future parents.

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