For release: 14 April 2015
The latest example of baby-abandonment should cause Australians to question whether or not surrogacy is in the best interests of children and surrogate mothers, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
This is in light of yesterday’s reports of a NSW couple who engaged an Indian surrogate mother to deliver a single baby girl, but conceived twins instead. The unwanted boy was given to an unknown family but as India does not recognise surrogate children as citizens, the child may be left stateless.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said, “While infertility is heartbreaking for many couples, children shouldn’t be regarded as off-the-shelf commodities or products designed to meet the requirements of adults," Mr Shelton said.
“Deep bonds are formed between mother and child during gestation and, unsurprisingly, there have been several cases where the mother has resisted relinquishing the child1.
"While sympathising with couples who cannot have children, ACL does not believe surrogacy is in the best interests of many relinquishing mothers or their children."
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’ Round Table on Surrogacy recommended the Abbott Government set up a Parliamentary inquiry into surrogacy.
“The round table seems to feel that the problems with this practice merit a proper examination and ACL supports this push.
"However, it is important that the assisted reproductive technology industry is not the dominant voice at any Parliamentary inquiry.
“Surrogacy, even when done altruistically, objectifies children and surrogate mothers and creates lifelong emotional issues for both.
“The only thing a new-born baby knows is her or his mother and this bond should not be severed unless absolutely necessary.”
1 Darnovsky, M. and Beeson, D. (2014). Global surrogacy practices. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, [online] 601, p28. Available at: http://repub.eur.nl/pub/77402 [Accessed 14 Apr. 2015].