Lee surrogacy case closed for lack of evidence

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 October, 2011, 12:00am
 

Police have closed the file on a 10-month investigation into an alleged surrogacy deal involving Henderson Land Development vice-chairman Peter Lee Ka-kit who had three sons born to him a year ago.

A police spokesman said yesterday that after consulting the Department of Justice, it had been decided to end the probe as there was not enough evidence to show that a criminal offence had been committed.

The news comes just weeks after the Council on Human Reproductive Technology and the Medical Council issued a statement reiterating that the initiating or taking part in any negotiations involving commercial surrogacy, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere, was unlawful.

Henderson Land announced the birth of the three boys on October 26 last year. The babies, Chi-shun, Chi-yan and Chi-yung, were born in the United States. Peter Lee is the elder son of the company's chairman, Lee Shau-kee.

The babies' mother has not been named, but it was reported that the woman was a surrogate mother hired in California.

Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Hong Kong but not in the US.

The Council on Human Reproductive Technology and the Medical Council said in a statement issued last month that 'childbirth by surrogacy arrangement had become a matter of public concern'.

However, the statement also said that the making of surrogacy arrangements which do not involve any commercial dealings was legal. The statement did not mention Lee's case.

Lawmaker James To Kun-sun said he was not surprised that the police investigation had ended.

'We only know that there is a man who announced he had three children and did not state who the mother was. People may link it to surrogacy, but there is no solid evidence - such as a receipt - showing that he paid for surrogacy services,' To said. He said that a woman could have voluntarily agreed to be a surrogate mother.

The reproductive and medical councils failed to reply to inquiries about whether they would be following up on the case.

No prosecution has been made under the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance since it was passed in 2000.

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