The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today urged the Tasmanian Government not to go down the same path as Victoria and Queensland in allowing two men, two women and even single people to acquire a baby through surrogacy – thereby depriving the children of the complementary love and care of a mother and a father.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said surrogacy was fraught with emotional, biological and legal complexities for children, as well as for women who carry someone else’s baby.
“We urge Tasmanians to put forward their concerns on this issue and for the Tasmanian Government to ensure that they engage in genuine consultation rather than treating the legalisation of surrogacy as a fait accompli,” Mr Wallace said.
“If the Government does decide to proceed with changing the laws we would urge all political parties to allow their members a conscience vote on the issue.”
Mr Wallace said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and, if they go ahead with legalising surrogacy, to restrict it to infertile heterosexual couples and to ensure that significant safeguards are in place.
These include ensuring surrogacy only occurs within the context of a committed relationship between a man and a woman and only when there is a genetic link between the arranged parents and the child.
“While we understand the heart-felt desire of adults to have children, we should not be placing those desires above the rights of a child to have both a mother and a father. Children are not commodities and their interests should always come before the desires of adults,” Mr Wallace said.
“Clearly it is not in the best interests of children for the State to allow them to be conceived through assisted reproductive technology and then placed in an unnatural family construct that denies them a mother or a father.”