Australia’s surrogacy laws encourage parents to look overseas. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - a popular surrogacy destination - shows the flaws of this approach.
Restrictions on payments to surrogate mothers need to be lifted and the law clarified.
The law needs to be more realistic about surrogacy services and payment, and reflect what is actually happening between couples and surrogates.
The surrogacy industry needs international regulation to stop the exploitation of women’s bodies.
A Canadian politician has announced he plans to introduce a private member’s bill to remove the legal prohibitions on payments to surrogate mothers and to sperm and egg donors.
There are sound ethical reasons behind Canada’s decision to ban payment to surrogate mothers and sperm and egg donors in 2004. A new push to remove the restrictions ignores the risks.
A first-time surrogate mother in Anand, India, 2013.
Surrogate mothers in developing countries are being shuffled across borders to evade a crackdown on the industry. This emerging gray market puts women at risk.
Surrogacy is fraught with uncertainties. Proposed regulation, inspired by the way the caring professions are regulated, would protect the surrogate and provide certainty about legal parentage.
A lack of regulation of surrogacy in developing countries makes it easy for exploitation to occur.
The reasons for banning compensated surrogacy in developing countries don’t apply in Australia.
Human oocyte in vitro fertilization.
Medical tourism for assisted reproductive technologies raises a host of legal and ethical questions.
Legalising commercial surrogacy would just relocate the same problem.
There’s no evidence to say legalising commercial surrogacy here would stop people from going overseas where it’s probably cheaper and there may be less regulation.
The most important thing when considering surrogacy laws are the rights of the children.
People who require the services of a surrogate to be able to have a child are going offshore because the only surrogacy permitted in Australia is altruistic surrogacy.
The Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit Court suggested Australia had an obligation to track down and look after the welfare of such children.
AAP Image/April Fonti
Fresh details have emerged of a 2012 case of an Australian couple who were delivered twins via a commercial surrogacy arrangement in India, but brought only one twin home. Does Australia have obligations to ensure the other twin’s welfare?
Legislating for commercial surrogacy would enable Australia to overcome concerns about poorly regulated clinics overseas, such as this one in Thailand.
Often emphasised in discussions about children’s best interests is the idea that certain ways of having and raising children are “natural”. For example, this word appears frequently in reference to how…
Of each of the parties involved in commercial surrogacy, the only party possessing unarguable and inalienable rights is the child born of commercial agreements.
The current debate about commercial surrogacy has focused on the competing needs of couples or individuals desperate to have children, and the exploitation of vulnerable women in low-income countries…