Taiwan needs more babies. But conservative traditions are holding back some fertility solutions

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graphic of IVF

For married Taiwanese men Alan Hung and Danny Huang, the process of having a biological child together was never easy.

The couple dreamed of starting a family soon after tying the knot in 2019, around the time Taiwan became the first Asian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage.

“Many of our friends already had their own children, and we also hoped we could show our parental love,” Huang said.

But gay men are not allowed to access artificial reproduction tools in Taiwan, so the couple – both university professors in their mid-40s – had to look abroad.

First, they spent more than a week at a fertility clinic in Russia, only to find out the procedure couldn’t be completed due to regulatory changes. Later, they found success with a surrogate in the United States – but with a hefty cost in excess of $160,000.

Cases like this are troubling to Chen Ching-hui, who last month became the first fertility specialist to win a seat in Taiwan’s parliament.

“Taiwan’s medical technology is well ahead of many other countries, so why are we...

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