A scandal has broken out involving a celebrity from China who is alleged to have wished her surrogate children be aborted after splitting up from her boyfriend.
Actress Zheng Shuang, 29, has been accused by her ex, producer Zhang Heng, of ultimately abandoning the two children they had planned on having through surrogates based in the United States.
She has also been accused of callously demanding in a recorded phonecall that the surrogate mothers they had hired, abort their fetuses seven months into the pregnancies.
Popular Chinese actress Zheng Shuang, 29, has been accused by her former partner, producer Zhang Heng, of abandoning their two children
Zhang, meanwhile, claims he has been left with the two toddler children while his ex is now back in China.
On Tuesday, as news of the scandal spread, Zheng was dropped as the face of Prada in the country having been an ambassador for the luxury brand for just nine days.
Zhang has since come out on the social media platform Weibo, the equivalent of Twitter in China, to say that he has been stranded in the US for more than a year because he and his family ‘must take care of and protect two young and innocent lives’.
American birth certificates from the states of Colorado and Nevada detail the birth of a boy on December 19, 2019 and a girl on January 4, 2020.
Both children are alleged to be the children of Zheng and Zhang.
Actress Zheng Shuang and her ex-boyfriend Zhang Heng are pictured in Shanghai, China in 2019
In a bitter split the Zhang family have released recording in which the two families can be overheard discussing the options over the newborns which included abandoning them
Zheng’s name was listed on both documents, with a date of birth matching her Chinese legal documents.
The scandal has set off a debate as to whether surrogacy should be completely banned in China, according to the South China Morning Post.
‘Surrogacy is clearly banned in our country, as its disregard to life makes one’s blood boil,’ China Central Television, the state broadcaster, said. ‘No law or ethics will allow it.’
Zheng Shuang has 11 million followers on social media and has been in the spotlight since 2009 first appearing in a TV romance
Secret phone recordings of the couple have also been released in which the two families can be heard discussing the options available before the children’s birth.
Zheng’s father suggested the couple simply abandon their children at the hospital while Zhang’s father said such action would be illegal.
The Zhengs suggested putting the children up for adoption while begrudging the fact the children were not aborted while in the womb.
Zheng’s attitude during the alleged call and the fact that she allegedly considered forcing the surrogate mothers to terminate their pregnancies because she doesn’t want the babies has seen her come in for criticism online.
The hashtags of their birth certificates and the alleged recording saw 1.53 billion and 1.96 billion views on Weibo,
Zheng, who was pictured in an ad campaign for Prada having been made essentially ‘the face of China’ just nine days ago, was sacked from her position making her the most short-lived brand ambassador in the brand’s history.
Prada said ‘Following significant recent media coverage of her personal life, Prada Group has today decided to cancel its collaboration with the actress Zheng Shuang, which was announced January 11, 2021.’
On Tuesday, Zheng responded to the claims saying ‘it’s a very sad and private matter for me’, accusing Zhang of attempting to extort her.
Zheng has 11 million followers on Weibo and first stepped into the spotlight as she appeared in a TV romance entitled Meteor Shower.
Over the years her emotional state has been questioned, according to The Post but has still managed to retain a loyal fan base.
The scandal has revived a debate in China on whether there should be a complete ban on surrogacy in the country. Although it is officially banned, there is a thriving black market.
Although the practice is banned by numerous government organizations, there is still a thriving ‘surrogate’ commercial market with agents looking for women and egg donors overseas.
In the U.S., surrogacy is legal in some states. Surrogates must undergo comprehensive health and legal check-ups. Chinese critics see the practice as one that exploits the rights of women seeing them as commercial products.
Alleged conversation between the father’s of actress Zheng Shuang and he ex-boyfriend Zhang Heng
Zheng Shuang’s father: What we’re talking about now is what we’re going to do with the children. We discussed… we don’t want them. Because of this situation, the two of them have separated, there’s nobody to raise them. Just tell the hospital, abandon them.
Zhang Heng’s father: We can’t do that. You think it’s that simple?
Zheng Shuang’s father: No, I’m saying you can just tell them ‘if possible, just abandon them…’
Zhang Heng’s father: That’s illegal in the United States, do you know that?
Zheng Shuang’s father: Then what are you going to do? We have to do… -cuts out-
Zhang Heng’s father: I can’t be like the two of them [Zhang Heng and Zheng Shuang].
Zheng Shuang’s father: With these two… Words can’t keep them [together]. If they can’t reconcile, then we can’t keep the two children.
Zhang Heng’s father: What do you mean we can’t keep them? That’s not a problem we can solve right now.
Zheng Shuang’s father: What can be done about adoption in the USA?
Zheng Shuang’s mother: We consulted with the lawyer about that. We…
Zhang Heng’s father: What does adopting in the USA mean? I don’t get it.
Zheng Shuang: Really. We don’t understand this idea either. That’s why when we found out about it, I was thinking about this issue myself. I was really mad, since I wanted to ask Zhang Heng about it. Now that he knows, he has things he wants to do about it. But first, help us resolve the issue at hand. What do we do with the children? I was nervous at the time, I want to say we should take responsibility for what we did.
Zhang Heng’s father: I understand what you’re saying. Whatever Zhang Heng says, I won’t… say it. He said there was that thing…
Zheng Shuang’s father: Ask the Americans. They should know. They have that [abortion].
Zheng Shuang: We really can’t abort these babies? F***, it’s so annoying.
Zheng Shuang’s father: If you can’t abort them, give them up for adoption.
Zheng Shuang’s mother: Our logic is this. We consulted with the lawyer since it involves two lives and they can’t be aborted. Overseas, it’s not even at six months, but just three months old [for most places]. Some don’t let you abort. There’s still one way, the two [babies] aren’t mature yet. Since [Zheng Shuang and Zhang Heng] aren’t together, the potential harm to both parties is immense. So we’re saying, don’t keep them. The other way is to give them up for adoption. Just let them be born then give them to someone else. Then both of you will be forgotten.
Zheng Shuang’s father: We’ll create some set of requirements for the person adopting them. Some kind of host. What requirements are we looking for?
Zheng Shuang: Don’t just think about finding a host family…
Zheng Shuang’s mother: Maybe an organization will want money to take them…
Zheng Shuang: If it’s money we’re talking about with an organization, if money needs to be spent, spend it.
Zheng Shuang’s mother: You’ll never see the children. Say someone adopts them. The people adopting them don’t wish for their children to grow up and then suddenly say ‘you’re my birth parents’. If the children are 20 and then the birth parents come looking for them, the adopting parents raised them for nothing.