National Surrogacy Inquiry
A national review of surrogacy laws has been set up by The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) - Australian Health Ministers' Conference / Community and Disability Services Ministers' conference joint working group.
Forget the title, but the issue is very important - the outcome will be a national model to "harmonise" regulation of surrogacy. In other words, the National acceptance of surrogacy as a good idea.
ACTION: They are asking for submissions - see the ACTION section below, which includes addresses etc. Submissions - closing date 16 April 2009.
At no time does the consultation paper ask if we should allow surrogacy.
Every question assumes you agree with surrogacy so we cannot answer ANY of the questions.
The Consultation Paper - click here for the 32 page paper put out by SCAG et al.
We are told "The proposal has been developed by officers for the purpose of public consultation." We are not told who these "officers" are but clearly they assume 'everyone supports surrogacy, we just need to sort out the detail'.We are being told that because it already exists in some states we need to make national rules.
Surrogacy is currently available inVictoria, WA, NSW and the ACT. It is illegal in Queensland and in SA, although a bill is in the SA parliament on the issue. In Tasmania a Legislative Council Select Committee has recommended that this SCAG process be used to address parentage issues. In other words, the outcome of this discussion paper will determine Tasmania's position.
Surrogacy by same-sex pairings is not mentioned in this report but they can now access surrogacy in Victoria due to the ART Act 2008. We believe they will take the line that discrimination is wrong so any national guidelines WILL allow same-sex pairings full access to surrogacy.
The homosexual community are already gearing up their people to make submissions so that two homosexual men can access surrogacy nationwide.
Currently they are using surrogacy in the USA, New Zealand and India.
Our belief is that ALL surrogacy is wrong ...
We believe surrogacy to be harmful to children - to deliberately bring children into the world without at least the chance to be raised by both their biological parents. Neither two dads, nor two mums, are EVER as good as a biological mum and dad.
We also need to make a statement about overseas surrogacy because if it was not allowed here people could still access surrogacy, as they are now doing overseas.
We suggest an Australian law making it illegal to bring any child into this country that is the 'product' of an overseas surrogacy arrangement. Most of these arrangements are commercial - all current state laws outlaw commercial surrogacy, so why allow access to overseas commercial surrogacy?
There are currently moves to restrict surrogacy arrangements in India because of concern over arrangements being made.
A recent case, where a Queensland male homosexual couple used a New Zealand woman as a surrogate, shows how fraught with difficulties the process is:
the Australian government is demanding that the woman pay 'child support' for the child - the biological father claimed a sole parent benefit to care for the child and so Centrelink and the Child Support Agency are seeking payment from the woman. The notion of taking responsibility for the child seems to have been avoided by the male pair.
Surrogates told to pay support
SMH, January 25, 2009
In another case from the UK, a sperm donor (and these are often used in surrogacy cases), is being pursued for child support by a lesbian couple.
Click here for media report.
ACTION - Please respond
We believe we need to tell this inquiry that we are concerned they did not address the issue of 'should we allow surrogacy?'.
We believe a short submission challenging the assumptions made and stating our total opposition to surrogacy should be made.
Submissions should be sent to:
Executive Officer of the Secretariat of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, NSW Attorney General's Department
GPO Box 6, Sydney NSW 2001
or can be emailed to
Inquiries may be directed to the SCAG Secretariat - ph 02 8061 9325.
The closing date for submissions is 16 April 2009 - But please act NOW.
National surrogacy scheme moves forward
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - Jan 17, 2009
The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) and the ministerial councils for Community Services and Health released a paper on Sunday calling for submissions on national surrogacy ...
National surrogacy plan coming
Sydney Star Observer, Australia - Jan 28, 2009.
"In a paper released for public comment last week, the Standing Committee made strong recommendations that Australia's approach to surrogacy laws be further ..."