FAMILY LAW: SURROGACY
Many Australians are turning to surrogacy as their last resort to have a child today. It is a process that has become more recognised popularly used over the years. Surrogacy is an arrangement for a woman to carry and deliver a child for another couple or individual. When the child is born, the birth mother permanently gives up the child to the intended parents. There are many legal issues surrounding surrogacy. Laws regarding this controversial process differ across Australia, and have changed dramatically overtime in Queensland. In this seminar, I will be analysing the issues involved with surrogacy, as well as evaluating and critiquing the new legislation that has been implemented in Queensland, that sets out the laws of surrogacy in Queensland.
The woman who conceives, carries and gives birth to the child is called the surrogate mother. There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves the sperm from the intended father (also known as the sperm donor) and the egg of the surrogate mother. Therefore, in this case, the surrogate mother is the genetic mother of the child. The second type is gestational surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy involves the extraction of the egg from the intended mother, and the transfer of the embryo into the surrogate’s uterus. This means that the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the child. Within the two types of surrogacy, there are two types of surrogacy arrangements: altruistic (non-commercial) and commercial. Under the Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld), a commercial surrogacy arrangement is when a person receives payment, reward, or other material benefit or advantage for entering into the surrogacy arrangement. Under the Act, you can only enter into an altruistic (non-commercial) surrogacy, meaning a couple or individual cannot pay the surrogate to have the child for them.
Surrogacy can only take place under some circumstances. The intended parent/s need to meet the eligibility criteria to become parents under a surrogacy arrangement in Queensland. They can be eligible if they are a: male same-sex couple; eligible female same-sex couple; a single female (if she meets the eligibility criteria; a heterosexual couple (if the female partner is eligible). A woman is eligible to enter into a surrogacy arrangement: if a woman can’t become pregnant, carry a pregnancy or give birth; if a woman did conceive a child, the child would be affected by a genetic condition or disorder, or the child’s health would be at risk; a woman is unlikely to survive a pregnancy or birth or her health would be significantly affected. For individuals who turn to surrogacy, it is a great option as they still have the opportunity to raise a child. As for same-sex couples, it allows them to raise a child, and gives them the rights of a normal couple. Every person should have the right to start a family, and surrogacy gives people that right if they for...