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Pages tagged "donor conception"
ACL's Lyle Shelton on Family Law Council's report on multi-parent families
· August 19, 2014 10:00 AM
Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he comments on the Family Law Council's recent report on
Parentage and the Family Law Act
. The report recommended the federal government allow children to have more than two legal parents (see The Australian's
). Mr Shelton says as a society we are grappling with new technologies of producing children and he is concerned about how technology is racing ahead of the ethical discussions we should have about the issues and implications for children.
MR: Government must act to stop the fabrication of kids' birth certificates
· May 29, 2014 10:00 AM
For release: Friday May 30, 2014
A Queensland judge's ruling that children's birth certificates be fabricated
underscores the urgent need for legislative reform to protect the rights of kids, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL's Queensland director Wendy Francis said Justice Ann Lyons' ruling to eliminate two children's biological fathers from their birth certificates was lying to the children about their origins and denying them their human rights under international law.
"Governments have a duty to always act in the best interest of the child. Justice Lyons' ruling means urgent legislative changes are needed to put the rights of children ahead of the desires of adults," Ms Francis said.
Article 7 of the United Nations Rights of the Child
says that "children have the right to know their parents and as far as possible be cared for by them".
Ms Francis said the LNP promised to amend the Surrogacy Act to protect the rights of children and urged the Government to meet its election commitment.
Recent parliamentary inquiries in New South Wales and Victoria and a Senate inquiry had all found that donor conceived children had been severely traumatised by not knowing their biological origins.
Breeders: A subclass of women?
· February 12, 2014 11:00 AM
Breeders: A Subclass of Women? - Trailer
The Centre for Bioethics and Culture has produced a film called
Breeder: A subclass of women?
which explores the issue of surrogacy and the implications it has on women, children, and families. They talk to surrogates, physicians, psychologists, and activists across the political and ideological spectrum to find out more about this complex and sensitive issue.
You can watch the trailer above.
The film is now available to
. You can also purchase a copy through the
official film website
In 2011, ACL's Katherine Spackman interviewed Jennifer Lahl from the Centre for Bioethics and Culture about another one of its films,
Anonymous Father's Day
which explores the experience of three donor-conceived people. Follow
to listen to the interview.
Deep breath needed in rush to dismiss mum and dad parenting
· February 06, 2014 11:00 AM
Children miss out on a mum or a dad usually because of tragedy or desertion.
Where this occurs we as a society rightly provide financial and moral support to single parents.
Where children are orphaned the State usually seeks to provide a mother and father replacement family through adoption.
In all cases, the best interests of the child are paramount.
We have also rightly condemned and apologised for practices that led to the stolen generation and forced adoption practices of the past.
The recent debate about same-sex marriage has highlighted the issue of parenting by same-sex couples.
A number of studies have been conducted which seem to suggest that kids raised by same-sex couples fare no worse and possibly even fare better than kids raised by heterosexual parents.
The most recent, a survey of existing studies from here and overseas, was conducted by sociologist Dr Deborah Dempsey on behalf of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
A key message of Dr Dempsey’s survey is that: “Overall, research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children. Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual families.”
The same-sex marriage lobby was quick to say that Dr Dempsey’s survey of the studies means the debate about same-sex parenting is over.
However, it is known that data for most of these studies has come from self-selecting samples and mainly from lesbians from a higher than average socio-economic demographic.
Lesbian parents who have high incomes and are well-educated unsurprisingly report that their kids are doing well and they most likely are.
While increasing, the numbers of same-sex couples parenting children remain very small. Dr Dempsey says 33 per cent of lesbian women in Australia have children and 11 per cent of homosexual men have children.
Around two percent of the Australian population is homosexual or lesbian but not all are in couple relationships.
With such small numbers, particularly for male homosexual parenting, it is perhaps too early to be drawing conclusions.
The studies also, by-and-large, do not discuss the ethics of using Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as surrogacy and donor conception to sever a child’s link to a biological parent so that it can be given over to others.
Surrogacy and donor conception support groups indicate there are problems and already three Parliamentary inquiries have examined donor conception practices in Australia.
The Senate inquiry, with the agreement of all political parites including the Greens, recommended a prohibition on donor anonymity. This is something that does not suit many same-sex parents.
There are deep ethical issues which need to be discussed openly and dispassionately if we are to legislate a new definition of marriage.
The debate is about far more than the love of two people, there are consequences for children which need far more rigorous investigation.
The overwhelming conclusion of the vast body of social science research is that kids do best when raised by their biological mother and father.
Common sense and the evidence of past practices of child removal tell us that a child’s biological parents matter to the child, regardless of the love provided in alternative arrangements.
Yes two men can love a baby, but is it right to have removed that baby from her mother?
Are fathers an optional extra?
These are important ethical questions that should be front and centre of the debate about redefining marriage.
Once a new definition of marriage is legislated, these questions become obsolete. In fact, they become inappropriate.
AWW magazine shows same-sex and single Australians looking overseas to have children
· July 29, 2013 10:00 AM
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
MR: Tas surrogacy laws set up another stolen generation
· August 30, 2012 10:00 AM
Thursday, 30 August, 2012
Last night the upper house of the Tasmanian parliament passed surrogacy laws allowing singles, heterosexual and same-sex couples to have access to altruistic surrogacy.
ACL is disappointed to see the rights to children once again put second place to the desires of adults.
“The ACL holds the view that the law should dissuade adults from entering into surrogacy arrangements because it is a practice fraught with legal and emotional complexities for all parties,” said ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown.
“The Bill passed last night denies a child’s fundamental right to at least begin life with a mother and father by allowing singles and same-sex couples to access surrogacy.”
“Are we in 20 years going to see another apology made, as in the case of forced adoptions, to children who may be deprived of, or in some cases even knowing, a mother or father?”
“Having learned nothing from the past, we are setting up another stolen generation of kids denied their biological mother or father,” Mr Brown said.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of a Child states that the child:
...shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother
“Wherever possible, our government should be affirming this, and in the best interests of children, give them the right to at least begin life with their natural mother and father.”
“It is disappointing to see the Parliament ignore the vast body of evidence of harm caused to children brought about through donor conception who are denied their biological heritage.”
MR: ACL welcomes Govt support for ban on donor anonymity
· August 16, 2012 10:00 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the Federal Government’s support of a donor-conceived child to know its biological parent.
While a State issue, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace welcomed the government’s acknowledgement in its response yesterday to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Report, to ban donor anonymity.
“The best way the Commonwealth can show support for this principle is to resist the push to redefine marriage and ensure that wherever possible children are raised by their biological parents,” he said.
“The government gave in principle support to the committee’s recommendation that there be a prohibition on donor anonymity which shows the government recognises the need for the individual’s interests to be protected – specifically to know who their biological parents are.
“The ACL believes children should, where possible, have the opportunity to be raised by their biological parents and for the government to acknowledge the innate desire of an individual to know their heritage.
“Last year’s inquiry was instigated by people, now adults, who were conceived using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). While most of these people grew up in a family with a mother and a father, the pain of having their biological identity hidden from them forced the inquiry.
“Compounding their sense of genetic bewilderment was the inability to know the medical history of their donor father.
“Donating sperm is not like donating blood – it’s about creating another human being and considering their needs and wants which includes the right to be raised by their father.
“Instead we’re allowing a practice to continue that goes against the organic, biological way children are brought into the world,” he said.
Mr Wallace said the ACL acknowledged the heartfelt desire of couples to have a child but it should never be without considering the rights of the child to have the best start possible with its mum and dad.
Mr Wallace said donor conception practices were increasingly being used by singles and lesbian couples and proposed same-sex marriage legislation would encourage the practice even more.
“This has been the main concern of the ACL – the impact of same-sex marriage on the understanding of family and having children being brought into the world and then deliberately denied their biological parent, something no government should facilitate,” he said.
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