Egg-freezing services proposed for Shanghai FTZ

Ke Jiayun
According to advisers, younger women could freeze their eggs in order to prepare for later pregnancy. Regulations in the FTZ could make this service more accessible.
Ke Jiayun

Seventeen political advisers are proposing the opening of egg-freezing services in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone which can help women freeze and store their eggs for later pregnancies.

According to the proposal, the native-born population in China last year was less than 11 million, the lowest since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Birth rates are especially low in Shanghai, where many women delay marriage and pregnancy in order to focus on their careers. But many local women may still want to give birth at a later age though, when conception becomes harder.

According to the proposal, younger women could freeze their eggs in order to prepare for later pregnancy. Egg freezing could also help older couples conceive again after the death of an only child.

Egg-freezing services are widely available overseas. They are legal in countries like the US, Thailand, Japan, Canada and Australia. In China, although the nation's laws don't ban egg freezing, such services are only available to certain infertile couples and cancer patients.

Political advisers say free trade zone regulations provide the possibility for ordinary persons to access such services. The advisers suggest that it should be allowed to establish medical treatment institutions in the FTZ which provide egg-freezing services for women aged between 20 and 40 through joint venture, cooperation or domestic funds.

For those who want to use their frozen eggs, they must have a marriage certificate, identity card and birth permission, according to the proposal.

There are more than 200 million unmarried adults in China, with more than 77 million living alone. The number of people getting married has continued to decline and the average age of marriage has continued to increase. In 2017, 10.6 million people tied the knot, 7 percent down from 2016.

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