Media Release: Friday, July 25, 2008

The case of a lesbian couple seeking damages for the cost of raising one of their twins born through an IVF procedure should sound alarm bells for governments about the increasing commodification of children in Australian society, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

ACL today welcomed the ACT Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the couple’s claims against a Canberra obstetrician and urged governments to consider the way in which law changes are paving the way for children to be treated like commodities rather than putting their interests first.

“Society seems to be heading down a very strange path when parents start seeking damages for the cost of raising a healthy child whom they were only able to have through pursuing assisted reproductive technology,” ACL National Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said today. “From start to finish this seems to be all about the interests of the parents and their desires, not about what is best for the child.

“In this particular case, we have twins being born into a situation which denies them the benefit of having both a father and a mother. Then, because they only wanted one child rather than twins, the lesbian couple has sought damages over the medical procedure which saw two embryos implanted when at the last minute they decided they only wanted one. What sort of message will that send to the children when they inevitably find out about this in future years?”

Mr Shelton said that ACL is opposed to homosexual access to IVF as it means children are born into a relationship construct which denies them having both a father and a mother.

“It is disappointing that the ACT became one of the first jurisdictions to pass laws allowing homosexual IVF and now Victoria is looking at following suit,” he said.

“On top of this we have several Australian states currently considering putting through surrogacy laws which will allow children to be conceived in arrangements that are fraught with a range of difficulties and complexities. Once again it is not the interests of children which are being put first.

“Federal, State and Territory Governments need to give careful consideration about where society is headed in terms of child reproduction. There is nothing progressive about putting the interests of adults ahead of children.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan