Friday Legal Update: Australia – Criminalizing Surrogacy? Is that really the way to go….

Surrogacy – I am shocked by the news out of Australia this week. Criminalizing surrogacy? Yes, that is the case – the claim is that they are protecting the best interests of the children and protecting women from exploitation. Apparently, there is an agenda by those who had proposed this legislation, and I am outraged, just as I am with those claiming to be protecting women in the film, Eggspolitation, while actually pushing their own religious right agenda – what say you?

Oversight and some requirements – maybe: this result – not a chance. Here is a breakdown of what happened below. Please comment – we need to stop this before children are stigmatized and families are torn apart.

An amended version of the Surrogacy Bill was just passed by the lower house of the New South Wales parliament. The Bill “allows for altruistic arrangements and enables couples of a child obtained through a surrogate mother to be granted parental rights.”
The amended version of the bill also prevents residents of New South Wales from entering into commercial surrogacy agreements interstate or abroad.

Labor Member from Canterbury, Linda Burney, proposed the amendment to the Bill which if left as proposed would have only made it illegal to enter into a commercial surrogacy agreement in New South Wales. The amended version makes “NSW residents who travel overseas to enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements, guilty of a crime even where the arrangements were legal in the country where the arrangement took place.”
The maximum penalty for those found guilty of entering into a commercial surrogacy agreement overseas is a fine of $110,000, two years in prison or both.

The Surrogacy Bill as amended passed through the New South Wales Parliament on November 11. The law gives “parents of children born through surrogacy full legal recognition.” Before the law passed “adoption was the only avenue for people with children born through surrogacy to gain full parenting rights.”

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