An article in the latest edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine has highlighted the advancements in fertility science allowing single and same-sex couples to have children, and their willingness to venture overseas to do so.
The article – One father, two eggs, two wombs
– tells the story of a gay man in Perth who travelled to India in search of donors and surrogates to carry two babies to full-term pregnancy. After paying for two eggs from an Indian donor, and paying another two Indian women to be their surrogates, he had two baby girls, “twiblings” as they were labelled in the article.
The egg donor was paid $500. Each of the surrogates was paid $6000, and was required to stay at the clinic throughout the process, even though both women were married and had other children of their own. Both women also received an extra $1000 for "enduring a caesarean".
When the staff at the clinic overseeing this process knew the father hoped his children would be born on the same day, they induced the second woman after the first went into labour.
This story is one of many which should cause society to question a practice which denies children the right to be raised by their mother and father . Aside from taking advantage of vulnerable women in a poor country like India, this practice also removes from these children the right to know their biological heritage.
In this case, the donor mother already has a child, which means the girls would be denied the knowledge of their half sibling and possibly others in the future. Despite giving them Indian middle names, the article states “the prospect of the twiblings meeting the three women who brought them into this world is unlikely”.
The best interests of children are being lost and ignored under such circumstances. Children have a fundamental right to be born from natural origins which is acknowledged by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that a child shall have, ‘as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents’.
Will we need to nationally apologise to this generation of children in 20 years’ time for doing nothing to protect their rights, but instead pursuing the desires of their ‘parent/s’?
The media has the ability to bring to light the situations that place children in a vulnerable state.
Earlier this year, columnist for The Australian newspaper Angela Shanahan wrote about the former Prime Minister’s apology to victims of forced adoption. The article explores the hypocrisy between the formal apology and same-sex and single surrogacy. Read this article here