The Australian Christian Lobby has joined the Australian Medical Association and IVF pioneer Gab Kovacs, in questioning the decision by a senior Tasmanian couple to have a baby using a fertilised donor embryo obtained overseas.
ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis said the procedure was ethically troubling with the interests of the child not considered.
“The ACL is concerned about IVF that involves the donation or sale of eggs or embryos involving a third party because it denies the child the right, wherever possible, to be loved and raised by their biological mum and dad,” Ms Francis said.
“We agree with the comments reported from Dr Bernadette Richards, an expert in medical law and bioethics from the University of Adelaide, that the driving principle of our laws must always be the best interest of the child.
“The ACL shares the medical profession’s concerns with using donated eggs or embryos because it clearly is not in the best interest of the child.
“Whether it be using donated embryos or a surrogate mother, the practice objectifies children and denies them their biological heritage.”
Ms Francis said the rights of the child issues highlighted in this case also applied to the debate about changing the definition of marriage.
“So-called marriage equality confers a right to found and form a family – a right which cannot be realised for couples of the same gender without Assisted Reproductive Technologies that are currently prohibited in Australia.
“Sadly, if marriage is redefined in Australia, same-sex marriage involving two men will, by its very nature and design, mean children will be severed from their biological mother through commercial surrogacy.
“Sperm donation for lesbians also denies children the love of their father.
“Children risk missing out on forming important relationships with those who are the source of their biological origins,” Ms Francis said.
“We must ask ourselves what kind of impact using donor embryos, eggs or surrogates might have on a child’s identity, and if the desire to have a child, no matter the cost, is really more important than the needs of the child involved.”
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