Surrogacy is generally practiced responsibly all over the world and is particularly important amongst prospective LGBT parents, but lately there have been a few high profile cases that have sullied surrogacy’s image and led to call to overhaul surrogacy legislation in Australia which differs from state to state.
Many of us have by now will be familiar with the latest sad surrogacy story to come out of India regarding the twins born to intended Australian parents and the fact that one of the twins was left behind because of their gender.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, told the National Family Law Conference in Sydney this week about the story. It is understood that the commissioning parents (intended parents) did not want both babies and their choice of baby they took back to Australia was based on gender. It is not known whether the baby left behind was a boy or girl.
Chief Justice Bryant was told by consular officials about the case in 2012 and she says they were deeply traumatised which is understandable. Apparently the consular staff delayed granting a visa while they tried to convince them to take both children home. However they were getting pressure from Australia to grant the visa. The commissioning parents could not be persuaded to take both children and a visa was granted for one child.
Chief Justice Bryant said she asked what happened to the other child. She said she was told someone in the end had come forward, that they said they were known to the family and took the child, but they expressed their great concern that money had changed hands.
Chief Justice Bryant said if it was true that a sum of money changed hands so another family would take the abandoned child, that could be tantamount to human trafficking and a criminal offence.
“I think it is appalling. It’s a breach of all sorts of human rights conventions and it’s a criminal offence in many places if that is so,” she said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she has no information from her department about the case.
It is time that the current surrogacy legislation is overhauled because when people wish to have children many of them are prepared to go overseas and that will continue to happen.