Surrogacy: Pregnancy and Child

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  • Topic: Pregnancy, Assisted reproductive technology, Artificial insemination
  • Pages : 2 (775 words )
  • Download(s) : 77
  • Published : July 30, 2012
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Under common law, the mother of a child is the woman who gave birth to the child. The father is the man who acknowledges and accepts the responsibility for the child or who is proven to be the father in court. Rapid changes in technology and society over the past 25-30 years have challenged the way in which we define a family and parents. For those who are unable to conceive a child there are now alternatives in the form of surrogacy and birth technologies. Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) in which a woman conceives and carries a child within her uterus for another person or couple and then surrenders the child to that person or couple. The issue of surrogacy can cause great moral, ethical and legal debate within the community. Surrogacy arrangements are complex and involve medical, emotional, financial and legal issues. However with increasing demand for assisted reproductive treatment and a decline in the number of children available for adoption, more Australians are considering surrogacy as a means to having a child. The laws relating to surrogacy differ slightly from state to state. This has created a great deal of inconsistency, uncertainty and conflict between state Acts. The woman who gave birth to the child whether the child is conceived naturally or artificially is considered the legal mother. The status of the natural mother as the birth mother can also be found in the Status of Children Act 1996 (NSW), the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the Marriage Act 1961. In the case of re Evelyn 1998 Mr and Mrs Q arranged for their friend Mrs S to become a surrogate mother and was then inseminated with Mr Qs sperm. No money was exchanged and Evelyn was handed over as agreed. However, seven months after the birth, Mrs S abducted Evelyn. Mr and Mrs Q appealed for the custody of the child but the High Court ruled that Evelyn would continue living with Mrs S and Dr. As the child was not conceived within a domestic relationship, the...
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