Media Release

For release: Monday May 16, 2011

The heart-rending news story last week of the first surrogate mother under Queensland’s Surrogacy Act bitterly regretting giving up her baby to two homosexual men should cause Tasmanian legislators to pause before rushing head-long into legislative social experimentation, according to Australian Christian Lobby Tasmanian Director Mark Brown.

Mr Brown said surrogacy was a fraught practice – ethically, legally, and psychologically – that was not in the interests of birth mothers or children.

“Tasmanian Upper House members considering the up-coming surrogacy bill should look closely at the plight of this Queensland woman and her child before voting.

“Whilst it is natural and right to empathise with the heartfelt desires of infertile couples to become parents, the welfare of the vulnerable in the process should always be a higher priority,” he said.

“The unfortunate news of Queensland’s first surrogate mother now regretting her involvement confirms the complexity that surrogacy creates for the birth mother in particular.

“ACL maintains that the interests of the birth mother, and especially children, who can never give their consent to the practice, should come before those of the intended parent(s) when it comes to surrogacy.

“The state should continue to discourage surrogacy because it blurs family relationships and disrupts relationship links between conception, gestation, birth and motherhood, which are important factors for human identity.”

Mr Brown said that such issues had been highlighted in a Senate inquiry report on Donor Conception Practices released in March.

“Tasmanian legislators have the benefit of the report’s findings, and more heart-rending stories from people conceived using donor conception.

“Instead of encouraging adults to enter into deeply conflicted parenting agreements, Tasmanian legislators should dissuade adults from entering into such arrangements.

“If legislators are determined to legalise surrogacy it should only be available as a last resort for medically infertile heterosexual couples in a long-term relationship who have a biological connection with the child.

“Deliberately denying children the right to be brought up within their biological families and to at least begin life with a mum and a dad, as permitted in the current bill, is not in a child’s best interest.”