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Victorian Election '18
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Pages tagged "forced adoption"
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
Monthly Newsletter - April 2013
· April 14, 2013 10:00 AM
The ACL’s latest monthly newsletter, which includes a column from ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace, is out now. This month's newsletter includes stories on the government's apology to victims of forced adoption, Tony Abbott keeping his word on marriage and the bill to decriminalise abortion in Tasmania. Click
to read the April newsletter.
Will we apologise to children removed from surrogate mothers?
· March 27, 2013 11:00 AM
Columnist for The Australian newspaper Angela Shanahan, has written about the Prime Minister's apology last week to victims of forced adoption.
explores the hypocrisy between the formal apology and same-sex and single surrogacy.
Below is an excerpt of the piece:
Many of us were appalled by the sheer hypocrisy generated by that irksome modern phenomenon, the institutional apology. Generally, I don't believe in mass apologies; they have taken the place of personal moral culpability and cheapened contrition, even when an institutional policy needs to be abrogated.
Instead today's mass apologies use the sheer intimidatory power of political correctness as a way of forcing a single view. And that politically correct view allows no nuance. Witness what happened to Tony Abbott because the nuances of his speech were not "right".
National apology to victims of forced adoptions on the Political Spot
· March 26, 2013 11:00 AM
In this week's edition of the Political Spot, the ACL's Katherine Spackman looks at the national apology to victims of forced adoptions by playing an excerpt of MP Steve Iron's speech to Parliament House about his experience of being a former ward of the state.
MR: Forced adoption not the only breach of ‘primal and sacred bond’
· March 21, 2013 11:00 AM
Thursday, 21st March 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby commended the Government on its apology for forced adoptions, but questions the Prime Minister’s assertion that “We can promise that no generation of Australian will suffer the same pain and trauma that you did.”
“The problem with forced adoption was that it broke the biological identity of children,” said ACL’s Managing Director, Jim Wallace.
“But we are creating exactly the same problem for a future generation with those states which permit surrogacy for same-sex couples and singles.
“The worst form of forced adoption was that experienced by the Stolen Generation which broke not only biological and but also cultural identity.
“Today gay couples travel to India to have Indian women carry and bear the child, because nature doesn’t provide them this ability and this inevitably breaks the child’s biological and cultural identity.
“Some gay men even proclaim they will never allow the child to know its real mother,” said Mr Wallace. “How is this not ‘deeply shameful and distressing’ as the PM has called forced adoption today?
“The PM said of the child victims of forced adoption ‘you deserved the chance to know your mother and father’,” said Mr Wallace. “Why doesn’t that apply equally to the children forced from their biological parent through same-sex and single surrogacy?
“How can we denounce forced adoption as breaking the most primal and sacred bond there is, ‘the bond between a mother and her baby’ as the PM said, and not only allow same-sex and single surrogacy, but support same-sex marriage which will be the cultural and legislative cement that would make it irreversible?
“The PM’s speech today is commendable, but let’s join the dots and not repeat the error of breaking biological identity in forced adoptions by permitting same-sex couples and singles surrogacy,” said Mr Wallace.
An Indian service provider on the Lateline program (4/03/2013) revealed more than one third of her clients were Australian gay men.
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.”
Mark Brown on The Political Spot
· August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings plans to make a formal apology to mothers and children affected by forced adoption policies in the past. ACL's Tasmania Director Mark Brown spoke about this with ACL's Daniel Simon.
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