Congwei Zheng

Research title: Study on the phenomenon of surrogacy among gay men in China

Research Summary

Congwei is a PhD student in sociology starting september 2022. His current research topic is surrogacy research among gay men in China. 

In January 2021, news of Chinese actress Shuang Zheng abandoning her two surrogate children born in the United States after breaking up with her boyfriend Heng Zhang generated over 4.2 billion views on the Chinese social media platform, Sina Weibo. This event brought surrogacy to the forefront of public discourse among Chinese netizens.

Surrogacy in China remains a contentious issue as it operates in a legal gray area with only some administrative regulations governing its practice. Moreover, surrogacy is inextricably linked to China's fertility policy. Although China had previously attempted to prohibit surrogacy in any form through the Amendment (Draft) of the Population and Family Planning Law, the passed "Population and Family Planning Law" removed the relevant clauses of "prohibition of surrogacy". Despite increasing acceptance of same-sex relationships in China, LGBTQ+ individuals still face significant legal and social barriers to forming families through adoption or surrogacy, as homosexuality remains illegal. 

According to the data of a non-government LGBT organization in China in 2015, they have helped more than 400 LGBT people carry out surrogacy, of which 90% are gay.

Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore how gay men navigate surrogacy and parenthood in China and how have sociocultural factors shaped their experiences.


Zheng, C. (2023). Surrogacy research among gay men in China. Futuring Outside the Box: New Dynamics in Media, Communication and Sociology - PGR Conference. 15th June 2023. University of Leicester. 

Additional Information

Before coming to Glasgow, Congwei obtained MA in Social Media and Social Research with Merit and BA in Radio and Television Editing and Directing.

In addition to ongoing Family and Gender studies, Congwei is also interested in Migration Studies and Social Media Studies.