Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MCV - "Rainbow Families Win" by Rachel Cook

The State Government introduced new laws on assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and surrogacy on Tuesday, which will bring Victoria into line with other states.

Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said in a media statement that “the overarching objective of the reforms was to protect the best interests of children born using such treatment”.

“Families come in all shapes and sizes and always have. We want to ensure that regardless of family structure, a child born through a surrogacy arrangement, to a single mother or to a same-sex couple receives the same legal protections as others.

“These reforms provide a legal framework for what is already occurring in the community,” Hulls said.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission, which recommended the changes, found that parental capacity was based on good parenting skills rather than relationship status or sexual orientation.

The new laws will ensure Victoria’s laws are compatible with Federal discrimination laws by providing that women can gain access to assisted reproductive treatment regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation.

The laws will also ensure stronger legal protection for children by giving legal recognition to the commissioning parents in a surrogacy arrangement, or the female partner of a child’s mother.

The Rainbow Families Council, which represents the interests of same-sex parents and their children, has welcomed the new laws.

“This is a step towards law reform that recognises our children and families legally and socially,” said spokesperson Felicity Marlowe.

Although the legislation will be the subject of a conscience vote in the state parliament, Marlowe told MCV she is confident it will be passed.

“I think it will get through on the recommendations that this is in the best interest for children and families in Victoria,” she said.

[Link: Original Article]

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