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Transcript of Surrogacy
17 Octomber 2012 If commercial surrogacy becomes legalized in Australia it would leave a detrimental effect on society. Surrogacy “A free race cannot be born of slave mothers“ (Sanger 1920:¶ 2). First Australian surrogate child was born in Victoria in 1988 (Kirkman 1989). Technology has made surrogacy increasingly prevalent for infertile couples. There are considerable concerns ethical, social, and moral conserns with surrogacy procedures. Surrogacy affects the individual, families and comunities. This paper will:
define the term surrogacy,
outline the history development of surrogacy
oefine the cause of the issue & the effects
identify the current Australian Law
recommends on the issue.
Surrogacy is an
“an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant and bear a child for another person or persons to who she will transfer custody at or shortly after birth (Department of Justice and Attorney-General of Queensland 2012). There are two forms of surrogacy:
Commercial surrogacy agreement is where the surrogate financially benefits (Healey 2005:175).
Altruistic surrogacy agreement is where the surrogate sees no financial gain (Healey 2005:175).
Children have the right to both a
mother and father Identity – children can become confused about their identity due to not knowing the donors involved (Healey 2005; Wallace 2012; Make a Stand 2011)
Know their origin – children have the right to know their kinship (Make a Stand 2011)
Infringement of the child's human rights - the act states that “that the child should not be separated from their mother” (Morrissey 2000; Gend 2012) . Dehumanizes and exploits the human reproductive organs (Burke 2010; Hanna 2010; The Australian Christian Lobby 2011). Commercializing -
Hanna (2010: 342), argues the issue that this process devalues children, turns them into marketable products similar to farming humans. Exploitation
Surrogacy allows the women to ‘hire out’ their wombs to the highest bidder, thus creating a niche where by there bodies can be exploited by commercial gain (Burke 2010). Surrogacy only for the rich - expensive fees, ensure that the rich are more likely to benefit than the poor, as they are more likely to be able to afford such costs. Psychological surrogate traumas - due to forming a bond with the foetus in utero and this can lead to:
feelings of anger and guilt (Tieu 2007; Whitelaw 2012) .
Separation from the child – Surrogate mother is contracted to relinquish the child at birth. Fostering a relationship with the child after birth is not in the contract (Akker 2007).
Family confusion - surrogate mother’s own children can be adversely affected by seeing their mother carrying a child and then relinquishing it (Akker 2007). Lets not create the next stolen generation! Source: Illustration by James Steinberg In Hansen 2011 Akker, O.B. A., 2007, ‘Human Reproduction Update’, Psychosocial aspects of surrogate motherhood, 13 (1), August, pp. 53-62, [online], available from: http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org /content/ 13/ 1 /53.full.pdf+html [21 July 2012].
Australian Marriage Forum, 2012, The Impact on Society & the Kids, [online], available from: http://australianmarriage.org/the-impact-on-society-the-kids 29/07/2012 [21/July/2012].
Baby Business, [video recording online], 2011, Insight, Sydney, (Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)), available from: www.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/overview/357/Baby-Business [29 July 2012].
Burke, J., 2010, India’s surrogate mothers face new rules to restrict ‘pot of gold’, [online], available from: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/30/india-surrogate-mothers-law?INTCMP=ILCNETXT3487 [21 July 2012].
Department of Justice and Attorney-General, 2012, Surrogacy, [online], The State of Queensland, Brisbane, available from: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/births-deaths-and-marriages/surrogacy [19/July 2012].
Gend, D., 2012, News weekly, Surrogacy: Next stolen generation – who needs a mother, anyway?, [online], available from: http://www.newsweekley.com.au/article.php?id=4267 [21 July 2012].
Hanna, J., 2010, ‘Bioethics’, Revisiting Child-Bases Objections to Commercial Surrogacy, 24(7), pp. 341-347, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford.
Hansen , M., 2011, As Surrogacy Becomes More Popular Legal Problems Proliferate, [online], available from: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/as_surrogacy_becomes_more_popular_legal_problems_proliferate/
Harari, D., 2008, ‘The Interdisciplinary journal of health, ethics and policy’, Surrogacy: Human Incubators and Defence of Contractual and Financial Agreements, Vol. 7, Spring, [online], available from: http://ase.tufts.edu/tuftscope [21 July 2012].
Hayes, A., Westom, R., Qu, L., & Gray, M., 2010, Australian Government,’ Australian Institute of Family Studies’, Families then and now: 1980-2010, [online], available from: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/factssheets/fs2010conf/fs2010conf.html [21 July 2012].
Healey, J., 2005, Debating the Issues, The Spinney Press, Wollongong.
Horin, A., 2012,’ Concern over complex laws on surrogacy’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 February, [online], available from: www.smh.com.au/national/concern-over-complex-lawa-on-surrogacy-20120208-1reyy.html [21 July 2012].
Kirkman, M., Kirkman, L., 1989, My Sister’s Child, Penguin Books, Melbourne.
Ingram, J.D., 1993,’ Marquette Law Review’, Surrogate Gestatot: A new and honourable profession, 76 (4), Summer, pp.675-699, [online], available from: http://scholarship.law. marquette.edu /cgi/ viewcontent.cgi?article=1664&context=mulr [21 July 2912].
Make A Stand, 2011, Kids’ rights count, [online], available from: http://makeastand.org.au/campaign /index.php?campaignid=41 [21/July/2012].
Morrissey, J., 2009, ‘Australian Family Association’, Children’s right trumps same-sex marriage: Galaxy Pall, [online], available from: www.family.org.au [21/July/2012].
New South Wales Parliament Legislative Council, 2009, Legislation on altruistic surrogacy in NSW, report 38, [online], available from: www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/ Prod/parlment/ committee.nsf/0/ 736b1fc0189b66acca2575a100125a8b/$FILE/080415%20Answers %20to%20QoN%20-%20Family %20Voice%20Australia.pdf [21 July 2912].
Sanger, M., 1920, Woman and the New Age, B&R Samizdat Express, New York.
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), 2011, Commercialising surrogacy commercialising children, [online], available from: www.acl.org.au/2011/05/mr-commercialising-surrogacy-commercialising-children [21/July/2012].
Tieu, M., 2007,’ Bioethics Research Notes’, Oh Baby Baby: The Problem of Surrogacy,19(1), March, [online], available from: www.bioethics.org.au/Resources/Online %20Articales/Opinion%20 Pieces/1901%20Oh%20Baby%20Baby%20The%20Problem %20with%20Surrogacy%20MT.pdf [18/July/2012].
Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2007, IVF, surrogacy law reform released, Law Institute Journal [online], available from: http://www.lawreform.vic.gov,au/journal-articales/IVF-surrogacy-law-reform-released [29/July/2012].
Wallace, J., 2012, ‘Australian Christian Lobby’, Single and same-sex surrogacy a gross abuse against of the rights of the child, [online], available from: http://www.acl.org.au/2012/06/mr-single-and-same-sex-surrogacy-a-gross-abuse-against-of-the-right-of-the-child/ [21/July/2012]
Whitelaw, A., 2012, Hundreds pay for overseas surrogacy, [online], available from: www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/hundreds-pay-for-oversease-surrogacy-20120602-1zp1u.html [21/July/2012]. Source: Illustration by James Steinberg In Hansen 2011 Source: http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/she-wants-to-give-her-eggs-away/ Source: http://chasingamiracle.com/2009/10/day-seventeen-of-100-the-ten-things-you-will-learn-thoughout-the-duration-of-ivf/ Source: http://www.diaryofafirstchild.com/2010/12/18/news-of-the-week-paid-surrogacy-immoral-or-not/ There are two process of surrogacy:
Traditional surrogacy involves the process of artificially inseminating the surrogate, and she becomes the genetic mother (Healey 2005:175).
Gestational surrogacy is the involvement of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and the surrogate has no genetic link (Healey 2005:175).
(Healey 2005:175; Baby Business 2011; Australian Marriage Forum 2012) Harari 2008; Burke 2010) History of Surrogacy The practice of surrogacy today has been aided by the cutting edge technology but the concept of surrogacy dates back thousands of years to Babylonian times.
The Code of Hammurabi, an ancient Babylonian law, that legalised surrogacy as early as 1760BC (Emmerson 1996).
Why Surrogacy Infertility
10%-15% of Australian couples
40% Due to male infertility
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Rates grow to 10%-35 Health
missing part of her uterus,
uterus lining or ovaries,
may carry genetic characteristics,
heart problem (Healey 2005).
Whereas Queensland and New South Wales criminalise commercial surrogacy and extra territorial bans as well.
All surrogacy arrangements in Australia must be altruistic (New South Wales Parliament Legislative Council 2009; Hanna 2010).
All State and Territory varies their laws.
The surrogate woman is deemed to be the legal mother of the child, regardless of whether there is a genetic link (NSW Parliament Legislative Council 2009).
After the child is born, the intended parents need to apply to the court for a Parenting Order (Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012; Victorian Law Reform Commission 2007)
The Northern Territory has no regulated laws for surrogacy and it does not criminalise commercial surrogacy (Horin 2012).
Recommendations The Law Council of Australia is now calling for legislation. (Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012; Victorian Law Reform Commission 2007)
seek legal advice before considering a surrogacy agreement.
to establish a uniform legislative framework on a national scale.
an improved profile description of Intended Parent and Surrogate Mother.
the extent to which total of payment to the surrogate mother is permitted.
The impact on individuals; family and community.
Psychological trauma to the surrogate mother .
It dehumanizes and exploits the reproductive organs,
Surrogacy breaks the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
children have the right to both a mother and father to ensure their child’s identity and kinship.
Recorded show it dates to Babylonian times.
Commercial surrogacy should not be legalised as the next generation will not know their origin and have no record of their ancestry
The current legislations can cause negative impact on all individuals involved.
Hence it is recommended a uniformed legislative framework that is implemented on a national scale.
Without strong proper legislations, commercial surrogacy agreements can have a detrimental effect on society.