The number of Chinese who hire American women for surrogacy has been on the rise in recent years, according to a report released by the China Press.
Such demand is creating a small but growing business in "designer" American babies for China's elite.
"Seeking an American woman for surrogate pregnancy is a kind of emerging luxury consumption among wealthy Chinese couples," said Guo Yu, a consultant at a Beijing- based agency offering surrogacy packages.
"The cost for hiring an American woman for surrogacy stands at about one million yuan ($164,196)," Guo said. "Yet it is still a cheaper option than the EB-5 visa, which requires a minimum investment in a job creating business of $500,000."
The surrogacy can also ensure the baby has US citizenship and pave the way for the parents' immigration to the US, Guo added.
So far, the business is growing fast enough that many US fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies are creating Chinese-language websites and hiring Mandarin speakers to cater to potential clientele from mainland China.
It usually takes about two weeks for a Chinese couple to obtain a designer baby, which includes preparations for the test tube embryo and embryo transfer, Guo said.
"Two weeks for 10 months of pregnancy, and it frees you from all the hardship of pregnancy," Guo added.
It takes about $300,000 in total, including $40,000 for an attorney, $2,500 each month for the surrogate mom, and about $20,000 for medical costs for the test-tube baby, according to Guo.
"The consumption targets high-income groups," Guo said.