Bloomberg Businessweek

CHINA’s GRINDR turns to surrogacy

GENG with BLUEDBABY marketing cutout

THE URGE TO have a child hit Geng Le hard after age 35. A former cop from China’s Hebei province, he’d launched a gay dating app called Blued a couple of years earlier, in 2012, and had become something of an icon for the Chinese LGBT community. Still, he felt his life was somehow incomplete without a child and that he owed it to his parents to sire a new generation.

The next question was how to go about it. A friend had become a parent to triplets via surrogate, but that seemed sketchy because surrogacy is illegal in China. Another option was Thailand, a popular, relatively low-cost option, but by 2015 that country had banned foreign surrogacy. Geng decided on California, which offered the best legal protections for “intended parents” such as himself, excellent advanced medical care for the surrogate and the newborn, and a U.S. passport for the baby. “I thought about how the child, after it was born, might feel a lot of pressure, experience prejudice, feel insecure—‘other people have mothers, I don’t have a mother,’” he says. “But he’d have U.S. citizenship, so I could send the kid to study overseas.”

The surrogacy process was a long drumbeat of tests, contract signings, and administrative details. When the due date came around, Geng flew to Los Angeles for the birth and held his

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