April 17, 2024

New laws will outlaw overseas surrogacy in NSW

Not everyone is happy about new NSW surrogacy laws
New laws in New South Wales are poised to stop people paying surrogates overseas to have their babies. Community Services Minister Linda Burney has introduced legislation to extend the ban on commercial surrogacy to overseas arrangements. While the aim is to stop surrogates from third world countries being exploited, many prospective parents in Australia are unhappy about the new laws. Ms Burney said she was also concerned about the welfare of the child, especially when surrogates are donating eggs.

“If we are banning commercial surrogacy in Australia, why would we allow it to take place somewhere else?” she said. “I believe very much that a child has an absolute right to know who they are and where they come from and that’s not possible if they’re a surrogate child from overseas.” Professor Jenni Millbank, family law specialist at the University of Technology, Sydney, says there is already an indication from prospective parents that they will go ahead with surrogacy overseas in secret to avoid a hefty fine or jail term.

However, that could prevent the children from knowing their full history. “We should be making surrogacy in Australia more available in situations where we know it can be better regulated, it can be fairer,” she said. “The informed and continuing consent of birth mothers can be properly assessed, so my solution would be a liberalisation of the Australian approach.”

Ms Burney says the goal is not punishing the child, so people who flout the ban on overseas commercial surrogacy will still be able to apply for correct documentation. “They will still be able to go through an adoption process. They’ll still be able to do those sorts of things for that child, but they will be taking the risk in New South Wales that the authorities will be notified,” she said. ~ ABC News, Dec 4

Jared Yee