Comm 11108 – National Politics: Giving to-be Parents a Chance

Australia could see surrogacy bans lifted in the coming months as Attorney General Gabrielle Upton reviews current laws, which will make advertising for Altruistic surrogacy provisions legal in New South Wales (Davey, 2015).  Commercial surrogacy along with advertising for altruistic surrogacy is currently illegal in Australia, with hopeful to-be parents, outsourcing to global surrogacy arrangements.

Australia is the largest user nation globally of cross-border surrogacy, and it is our punitive laws banning compensation and advertising have had no positive effect (Everingham).  Australians entering into commercial surrogacy arrangements overseas experience high levels of multiple pregnancies and premature births, placing the health of the surrogate and their children at risk, new research has found explains Davey (2015).

The tragic case of baby Gammy, a twin born through surrogacy with Down’s syndrome in Thailand whom was left behind, while his twin was brought back to Australia.  This had serious backlash, with Thailand closing off its surrogacy option for Australia, and minimising options for to-be Australian parents (Van Wichelen, 2015).

The suggestion here is that if we do not accept altruistic surrogacy and put measures in place to regulate it, we will drive commercial surrogacy underground (Bindel, 2015).  The call for reform and regulation on laws surrounding this issue are evident.

Each state in Australia has its own legislation on the matter, and John Pascoe Chief Judge Federal circuit court of Australia and Diana Bryant Chief Justice Family court of Australia, have called for law reform in this area, saying that Commercial surrogacy in Australia is illegal, the problem is that by not regulating the surrogate and child are put at risk (Marriner, 2015).

The benefits to having such a reform would protect both parent and child and provide an environment domestically.  Evidence of successful surrogacy arrangements in countries such as America, is a hopeful future direction that Australia can move towards.

References

Bindel, J 2015,’ Commercial surrogacy is a rigged market in wombs for rent’, The Guardian, 21 February, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/20/commercial-surrogacy-wombs-rent-same-sex-pregnancy

Davey, M 2015, ‘Commercial overseas surrogacy more dangerous, Australian study finds’, The Guardian, 28 August, viewed 20 September, http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/28/commercial-overseas-surrogacy-more-dangerous-australian-study-finds

Davey, M 2015, ‘New South Wales attorney general considers surrogacy law changes’ 2015, The Guardian, 20 September, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/20/new-south-wales-attorney-general-considers-surrogacy-law-changes

Marriner, C 2015, ‘NSW considers allowing couples to advertise for surrogates’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September, viewed 21 September 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-considers-allowing-couples-to-advertise-for-surrogates-20150918-gjq9ga.html

Van Wichelen, S 2015, ‘What chance for international surrogacy laws?’, ABC News, 20 August, viewed 6 September, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-21/van-whichelen-what-chance-for-international-surrogacy-laws/5683746

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