Tuesday, June 2, 2009

News.com.au - “Queensland woman impregnated by donor sperm, surrogate for her single gay brother” by Mark Schliebs


A WOMAN is due to give birth to a child for her gay brother after impregnating herself with donor sperm from a third party - an act that is illegal in her home state of Queensland.

At the centre of the startling story, the homosexual man says pregnancy tests taken last month have proven that his sister is carrying what will become his first child.

The man, aged in his mid-twenties, said his older sister, who has two teenage children herself, agreed to carry a child for him earlier this year and became pregnant after being artificially inseminated with another man's sperm.

It is not known if the child, due to be born early next year, will know the identity of its biological mother. It will not have interaction with the biological father.

"I understand that my own situation is a little different to what people would normally hear about," the man told news.com.au in an email.

The siblings declined to be interviewed for this story.

Stephen Page, a partner at Brisbane's Harrington Family Lawyers and an expert on gay and lesbian law issues, said all surrogacy arrangements in Queensland were illegal.

But Mr Page said the only way for the pregnancy to be legal would be if the child would be treated as her own.

In a post on an internet forum in April, the "gay dad-to-be" admitted that his case was "unorthodox".

"I guess the other thing that makes my situation a little unique is that I intend to be a sole parent. I am single, and am looking forward to being a single dad."

He added that he was not opposed to having a partner after the child's birth.

Rodney Cruise, a father of two who heads Gay Dads Australia, said he would like congratulate the Queensland man on his good news.

"I think it's great that the man has a family member so willing to do this," Mr Cruise said.

"(Surrogacy pregnancies) doesn't happen in a backseat of a car after three Bacardi Breezers, these are well planned and well thought-out.

"Who would (a child) rather want: a loving caring gay father… or an alcoholic woman with an abusive drug addicted partner?

"In terms of the legality of (surrogacy), I'm sure that there’s hundreds and hundreds of cases out there."

But Anglican bishop and academic Tom Frame, who was adopted at a young age and believes that he might never know who his biological father is, said the impact on such an arrangement would be overwhelming for a child.

"We've got a child here who will grow up without its biological mother or father," Dr Frame said.

"We are deliberately breaking to bond between the father, the mother and the child. I think if you don't need to do that, don't do it."

Dr Frame said if the child did know its aunt was its biological mother, it could react the same way his own sister - who was also adopted - did and demand to live with her.

"Sometimes (children) decide not to get along with their parents with whom they live with because they have leaving options.

"What if the sister didn't like the way her brother raised her child? She could legally take the child back."

Mr Page said it could be possible for an unmarried person to legally gain custody and guardianship of a child, but adopting it would be difficult.

"(In Queensland) you've got to be married for two years to adopt," Mr Page said. "It actively discriminates against gays and lesbians."

He said an unmarried person could seek a Supreme Court order, but the costs of a trial would be overwhelming.

John Morrissey from the Australian Family Association said the child would be born out of "vanity".

"It's a strange situation," Mr Morrissey said. "It's not giving the kid a normal family.

"He wants to have a baby, the baby doesn't get a say (and) it's not about what the baby wants."

[Link: Original Article]

No comments: