For release: Wednesday 6th April 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby today called on Tasmanian politicians to amend the Surrogacy Bill 2011 to ensure that a child’s right to at least begin life with a mother and father is upheld.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the Attorney General David Bartlett comments the legislation was about removing discrimination and allowing surrogacy for all people, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation, elevated the rights of the adults above the rights of 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 Brown said.
Mr Brown said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and to separate the bill into two issues: heterosexual surrogacy and homosexual and single parent surrogacy.
“There needs to be consistency in surrogacy legislation – if it's going to be considered, all children who are produced through surrogacy should have the rights to begin with a mother and father,” he 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.
Mr Brown said surrogacy was a very sensitive issue but those supporting the rights of a child to a mother and father should be free to advocate this without fear of intimidation and accusations of bigotry.