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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

“Two young and innocent lives”: Prada drops actress over alleged surrogacy abandonment


by Amanda Cassidy
22nd Jan 2021

A row over whether surrogacy is morally ethical has blown up after a Chinese actress was accused of abandoned two children born to surrogates abroad.


Zheng Shuang was unveiled as the new face of Prada just a week ago. But with the ink barely dried on the contract, the group has issued a statement terminating all relations.

In a press release issued on social media’s Weibo, the company says that the “significant media coverage” of the actress’s “personal life” is what lead to the decision.

The story came to light after Zheng’s ex-partner took to Weibo explaining why he had been stuck in the US for so long. He called his situation “helpless” saying he is there caring for “two young and innocent lives” – his children.

Manipulation

It blew up online. Birth certs were then uncovered showing that two babies were born to two separate women with Zheng Shuang’s name on the birth certificates.

Surrogacy is illegal in China.

The outcry grew louder as a taped interview emerged in which Ms Zheng is heard expressing frustration that it was too late for the pregnancies to be terminated. According to the report in the Global Times, it was around seven months into the women’s pregnancies.

So far, so completely messy.

Earlier this week Ms. Zheng broke her silence over the affair explaining that the leaked tape was a manipulation of her conversation. She said it was just one small clip out of a six-hour conversation.

“Morally unethical”

Meanwhile, China has also waded in; Its state-run television station came out of the traps quickly after saying that “any kind of surrogacy” is banned, and that both “surrogacy and child abandonment is against social morality and public order.”

On the back of the story, the hashtag #DoYouSupportSurrogacy started trending on Weibo. Critics have accused the actress of being an irresponsible mother for allegedly turning her back on her children.

The debate has extended to surrogacy itself, with many pointing out that it is an option only open to the wealthy who can afford to pay surrogates abroad.

Image via BBC