Our mission is to build a world-wide recognized first-class reproductive center. We aimed to provide more and better services to both local citizens and international patients. Taipei Honji embryo laboratory is well-equipped with the world’s top medical technology based on skills developed from New York University. Established for 5 years, we thrived on hard for operating our center and we made fruitful results. We break through the international border of infertility. Honji is being noticed by international media. We helped changing over 100 infertile Japanese families’ destiny and made their dreams come true. This process of hard work has deeply touched our people.
Recently, Japanese reporter Youhei Takei interviewed Dr. Hung-Chi Chang twice in Tokyo and in Taiwan. The report was posted on 7th May 2017 on Yomiuri Newspaper and became the headline news of the day! Yomiuri Newspapers everyday circulation has exceeded 13,500,000 and it is the highest circulating daily newspaper (Listed in Guinness World Records). This is great recognition from the largest media from Japan and we are cheerful and honored to be reported. And this also definitely approved the long term efforts made by Taiwan Medical Association. Honji is rooted from the nurturing of our professors of department of Obstetrics and gynecology from College of Medicine in National Taiwan University. We give thanks to Professor Li and Professor Yang for their teaching. All our staff is not satisfied with the current effort we made. We will be more humble and careful to inherit this medical knowledge and connect it with the best technology and fight for success!
7 May 2017
The cover page of Yomiuri Newspaper reports about egg donation in Taiwan
It also reported the successful delivery experience of a Japanese patient with the help of Honji Fertility Center!
The number of Japanese women receiving egg donation in Taiwan has rapidly increased for infertility treatment. Yomiuri Newspaper researched that there are at least 177 patients, in which 96 of them has delivered 110 babies in 3 years. Though egg donation is managed by the Taiwanese government, related problems may still be derived (such as those kids have the right to know their natural mother).
Until 3 January, we have conducted survey from 77 hospitals and medical clinics through emails, phone calls or face-to-face and successfully got responses from 72 of them (response rate 94%). This is the first time for the number of delivery data of Japanese infertility patients being released. 4 of these medical clinics claimed that they have provided egg donations to these Japanese patients. Other 9 claimed they have provided egg donations yet details are not revealed. Other 59 hospitals and clinics said they do not provide egg donations.
There were 17 Japanese girls received egg donation in 2014, while 72 in 2015 and 88 in 2016. We can tell that the number is rapidly increasing. And in 3 years there were 110 babies being born in total. Some medical clinics hired Japanese-speaking staff and held seminars in different areas in Japan such as Tokyo and Osaka in order to enhance popularity. Not only from Japan, infertility patients also come from Mainland China, the US, the Philippines and other countries.
In Taiwan, the Artificial Reproductive Act was implemented in 2007, stating that women who are aged and infertile can receive eggs from third-person anonymously. The recruitment of egg donors is mainly held by medical clinics and these clinics need to report the records to the government.
In Japan, the Artificial Reproductive Act is not comprehensive enough that egg donation treatment can hardly be carried out. Dr. Osamu Ishihara from the Deparment of Obstetrics and gynecology of Saitama Medical University stated that in recent years developed countries like Italy and Switzerland approved the act of third-person egg donation. Only Japan still lacks a fully completed egg donation or artificial reproductive act.
For aging or infertile women, egg donation may be their last choice. Due to the current incomplete law and system, we can hardly found any medical institutes providing egg donation in Japan. That is why some Japanese couples chose to receive egg donation overseas. In recent years, the number of infertility patients receiving egg donation in Taiwan has been increasing. Base on this phenomenon, we did a research about egg donation in Taiwan.
Lower cost for treatment and allowance to egg donors
“She is our baby girl that we finally gave birth to.” It was a day in late April, a man with his baby girl sitting on his shoulder and his wife combing hair beside him at a park in Kyushu. After 10 ten years of infertility treatment, this little girl was born from egg donation in Taiwan. Since 2004, the wife has had an irregular menstruation period. She was anxious if she will be unable to be pregnant. They have tried test tube babies for 8 times. Though she got pregnant for once, it was miscarried in week 8.
They have experienced endless disappointment and sorrow. As time goes by, the number of eggs to be retrieved becomes insufficient. At that time, their doctor suggested them to try egg donation in Taiwan. After they discussed with their own parents for a few times, they decided to receive treatment from Honji Fertility Center in Taiwan. In Taiwan, the identity and information of egg donors is kept confidential. They chose an egg donor who has the same blood type as the wife and use the sperm of the husband. After 2 times of failure, they finally succeed for the third time when they came to Taiwan.
Both husband and wife decided not to tell their daughter about the egg donation. “Though it is not my own egg, she was born from my body and my love for her will never change.” The wife confessed. Honji Fertility Center is established by Doctor Hung-Chi Chang in March 2012. Four Japanese staffs were hired for serving Japanese customers. From 2015 to 2016, Honji held seminars in Tokyo and Osaka. From 2014 to 2016, there were 253 Japanese patients came for egg donation. In average, there are 2 couples coming to the center for treatment each day during long holiday.
Generally speaking, women’s eggs start aging from the age of 40 and become difficult to be pregnant. If the baby is delivered in the way of egg donation, the egg donor will actually become a mother in DNA. The complication in parenting relationship, the identity of the DNA mother and the concern of egg donor will became the problems of egg donation.
At the moment, Japan has no related laws on artificial reproduction. The only way is to borrow patient’s sister or friend’s eggs due to personal health problems. The case that got pregnant from anonymous third-person was only reported for the first time with these 3 months.
Taiwan has implemented Artificial Reproductive Act in 2017, it includes a range of egg donation conditions such as infertility which caused by aging. There are some Japanese couples flying to the US and Thailand for egg donation. But the cost for having an agent was JPY $5,000,000 (USD $45,000). Meanwhile, the law for foreigners to receive artificial reproduction has become strict in Thailand. Thus, Taiwan becomes being noticed. As compare to other countries, patients can receive treatments directly from medical clinics without any agents. In addition, they can communicate in Japanese and the cost was only JYP$2,000,000 (USD $17,600). The similar outlook of egg donors with Japanese is also a great advantage.
According to Taiwan’s law, egg donation is voluntary. However, egg donors need to afford the burden to their bodies. Considering to compensate the loss of working hours for donors, Honji Fertility Center provides them TWD $99,000 (USD $3,300) as nutrition allowance.
In Taiwan, the average salary of a fresh graduate university student is TWD $27,000. Thus, the nutrition allowance is attractive to them. Last year, an egg donor studying master degree in Taipei spent this allowance on her tuition and a trip to Japan. She thinks that egg donation is to help others. “From the view point of offering help, the burden to the body is not the same. It is just similar to donate blood.” She said.
To those couples who are suffering from infertility, choosing Taiwan for egg donation could be a choice, but meanwhile a problem. The Taiwanese government manages the records of egg donation. But egg donors and recipients are unable to get the information of each other. The egg recipient couples only know the race, skin color and blood type of the egg donor. In the future, the kids will also be unable to know who his/her DNA mother was. Problems will be derived if more and more kids are born from egg donation.
Besides that, there are chromosome test for fertilized embryos in Taiwan. These tests are carried out to prevent inborn disabilities, which mean people are able to choose life. Considering the moral reasons, egg donation is not popular in Japan. Yet, it is simple and acceptable in Taiwan.
Since 2013, Japan started to discuss about third-person artificial reproduction. They suggested about egg and sperm donation under certain condition and related surrogating medical laws. However, there was no conclusions drawn and was unable to bring to the parliament.
Dr. Osamu Ishihara from the Department of Obstetrics and gynecology of Saitama Medical University told us about the situation of those countries which have third-person artificial reproductive system. Infertile women who aged from 37 to 38 will be approved to receive egg donation. But in Japan, there is no egg donation provided to those aged women. Thus, these patients need to continue infertility treatments even over 40-years-old. “This is a very special case to the world. We need deeper discussions about egg donation.” Said Dr. Ishihara.
Late marriage has a great impact to aged infertility treatment. Japanese politics and professor point out that Japanese women nowadays are delaying pregnancy and delivery for work. Japan society wishes for a change that women can give birth at younger age.
- 1986-1993 Department of Medicine, National Taiwan University
- 1995-2001 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital
- 2001-2007 Full-time scientist in Center for Reproductive Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
In 2005, the human egg freezing technology development success stories have been reported to the National Television Company NBC TV.
And in 2002 and 2007, for six consecutive years the highest authority in the field of human reproduction, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine published 13 research papers report.
Japan’s second daily circulation newspaper Asahi Shimbun in 2013 to introduce at the hospital-wide.
Court accepted in 2014 the Japanese TBS TV “News 23” program news interview, the program for the egg to the hospital by Japanese patients with personal interviews make special report.
2016, is located in Hiroshima, Japan, the newspaper provided by the newspaper “Chugoku Newspaper” also reported sharply Court by egg treatment outcomes, became a subject of a sudden.