Doctors at the National Ob-gyn Hospital in Hanoi performed a C-section Friday morning to deliver the first baby conceived under the country’s new surrogacy laws.
The girl weighed 3.6 kilograms at birth and was delivered by the mother’s aunt.
"We've been waiting for so long," the mother Nguyen Thi Ha said.
“I’m so happy; she’s perfect.”
Ha said her congenital abnormalities do not allow her to become pregnant or carry a fetus.
She said at the press briefing held after the delivery that she and her husband had tried in vain for the last 18 years to have a baby.
They registered to have one through surrogacy last March after lawmakers legalized it, allowing women within a family to help each other out for humanitarian, and not monetary, reasons.
She said she chose her 46-year-old aunt since she was the only person in the family fulfilling all conditions.
Her aunt, who lives in Ha Nam Province near the capital, plans to breastfeed the baby for a month before a switch to formula.
The hospital was designated as one of three facilities in Vietnam to provide surrogacy services after the government realized there was high demand and couples could otherwise seek unlicensed, unsafe services.
Dr Nguyen Viet Tien, director of the hospital’s reproduction support center and who performed the surgery, said his hospital has approved 70 applications from a total of more than 100 nationwide.
But he said surrogacy should be the last option, after in vitro fertilization proves unsuccessful.
He said the fee is equal to IVF, which costs an average of VND60 million (US$2,700).