Australian Family Law: Surrogacy

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Many Australians are turning to surrogacy as their last resort to have a child today. It is a process that has become more recognised popularly used over the years. Surrogacy is an arrangement for a woman to carry and deliver a child for another couple or individual. When the child is born, the birth mother permanently gives up the child to the intended parents. There are many legal issues surrounding surrogacy. Laws regarding this controversial process differ across Australia, and have changed dramatically overtime in Queensland. In this seminar, I will be analysing the issues involved with surrogacy, as well as evaluating and critiquing the new legislation that has been implemented in Queensland, that sets out the laws of surrogacy in Queensland.

The woman who conceives, carries and gives birth to the child is called the surrogate mother. There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves the sperm from the intended father (also known as the sperm donor) and the egg of the surrogate mother. Therefore, in this case, the surrogate mother is the genetic mother of the child. The second type is gestational surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy involves the extraction of the egg from the intended mother, and the transfer of the embryo into the surrogate’s uterus. This means that the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the child. Within the two types of surrogacy, there are two types of surrogacy arrangements: altruistic (non-commercial) and commercial. Under the Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld), a commercial surrogacy arrangement is when a person receives payment, reward, or other material benefit or advantage for entering into the surrogacy arrange...

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...ould be available to same-sex couples. By not allowing surrogacy for same-sex couples, the law would be violating the rights of individuals. However, at the same time, by allowing same-sex couples to enter into surrogacy agreements, 41% of people agree with Members of Parliament who believe that we are moving away from traditional family values.

To conclude, it is clear that this process is one that deals with significant controversy. Society’s views on Queensland’s current surrogacy laws vary, however a majority believe that the legislation is fair and just, without violating the rights of any individuals. We live in a society that is changing rapidly, and although we may be moving away from traditional family values, we are moving into a new time where it will eventually have to be made acceptable, with this rising change in what is seen as a traditional family.

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