Saturday, May 23, 2009

Queensland Pride - “Queensland to decriminalise altruistic surrogacy” by Peter Hackney

In a move that is set to make it easier for gay and lesbian couples to become parents, Queensland is to decriminalise altruistic surrogacy, Premier Anna Bligh has announced.

In a statement released by Bligh last month, the Premier said the move would give hundreds of couples the opportunity to have children.

"As a mother, I know the incredible joys parenthood can bring,” Bligh said.

“[This] decision means Queenslanders who are not able to conceive a child of their own will now have a legal avenue to do so.”

The decision follows the unanimous recommendation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee last year, to change the current Queensland law which makes all forms of surrogacy illegal.

The committee recommended decriminalising the practice of altruistic surrogacy – where a woman agrees to bear a child for another person, for no financial gain or personal benefit.

“The reality is, for some people, surrogacy is their only chance of starting a family,” said Bligh.

“It is not fair that their genuine efforts to do so could land them in jail, or see them face fines of up to $10,000.”

Queensland is currently the only state in Australia where altruistic surrogacy is considered a crime, punishable by jail.

The law will officially change by the end of this year.

[Link: Original Article]

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