Family and Surrogacy

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‘A surrogacy arrangement is an arrangement between a woman (the birth mother) and another person or couple (the intended parents) where the birth mother agrees to become pregnant with a child for the intended parents’ (Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2010). In Queensland, surrogacy should only be permitted to married couples or de-facto couples, including same-sex couples. There are two types of surrogacy, altruistic and commercial surrogacy. Altruistic Surrogacy is where an ‘arrangement between a woman and a couple or individual to carry and deliver a baby for no financial benefit (Wise Geek, 2003). The second type is commercial surrogacy where there is financial benefit for carrying the child. This is a controversial topic throughout Queensland as it involves the bearing of a child. Also, the controversy with surrogacy is the two types of surrogacy that are available, although altruistic surrogacy is the only surrogacy currently legal within Queensland. But other countries do allow for commercial surrogacy to be legal. Each section throughout this report will discuss different topics about surrogacy, the first section will discuss the current law in Queensland and if the same law applies throughout Australia. The next section will talk about how effective the current law is or not and why this is. Also, this section will discuss the pros and cons of surrogacy within the current law. The next section will discuss whether changes to the current law need to be made. The last section in this report will discuss the relevance of the law and the overall effectiveness of the law present.

‘The Surrogacy Act 2010 was passed by parliament on 11 February 2010 allowing altruistic surrogacy to occur in Queensland. Currently, the law allows any person, regardless of relationship status, to be eligible to utilise surrogacy’ (Queensland Government, 2010). Queensland has implemented this law to allow for de-facto couples, same-sex couples and a single person to have the opportunity of having a biological child. ‘Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, except for the Northern Territory. Although, the law allows for altruistic surrogacy to be legal, an amendment was made for it be illegal for New South Wales residents to participate in commercial surrogacy anywhere in the world (Evolution Publishing, 2010). Other countries such as the United States of America and India are favourable of commercial surrogacy and that is why overseas surrogacy is more common then altruistic surrogacy. ‘In the United States for example, amongst states as varied as California and Arkansas, commercial surrogacy has been an established practice for many years with careful scrutiny of those arrangements by their courts’ (Evolution Publishing, 2010). The Surrogacy Act 2010 bans Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory from having access to overseas commercial surrogacy anywhere in the world. But within the Act, it is different for other states such as Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, where it does not ban anyone from having access to an overseas commercial surrogacy clinic (Evolution Publishing, 2010). It is evident that within this Act, certain laws apply to each state and it is more common for anyone wanting to have access to commercial surrogacy to go live in a place where commercial surrogacy is not banned, to avoid a hefty fine or jail time. ‘It is a criminal offence for any commercial surrogacy arrangement to be entered into in Queensland. It is also a criminal offence for a resident in Queensland to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement anywhere in the world’ (Evolution Publishing, 2010).

Currently, the Surrogacy Act 2010 gives access to altruistic surrogacy for any de-facto couples, same-sex couples and a single person (Department of Justice and Attorney-General, 2010). Altruistic surrogacy should only be allowed to same-sex couples and de-facto couples, eliminating any single person...
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