Saturday, January 22, 2011

[Australia - New South Wales] – The Daily Telegraph – “Baby law ‘will make parents into liars’ warn legal experts” by Letitia Rowlands

LEGAL experts are urging State Parliament to reconsider new surrogacy laws they say will lead to couples lying to authorities, friends and family about their children’s births.

Under altruistic surrogacy laws from March 1, any NSW resident who travels overseas for commercial surrogacy can on return be fined $110,000 and imprisoned for two years, reported The Daily Telegraph.

They will also not benefit from other changes making it easier for couples to be recognised as parents of a child born via an altruistic surrogacy.

Commercial surrogacy, where a surrogate mother is paid for carrying a couple’s genetic child, is illegal in all states of Australia.

Community Services Minister Linda Burney said the laws aimed to stop exploitation of women in other countries who might be forced to become a surrogate for financial reasons.

University of Technology Sydney law professor Jenni Millbank said couples desperate to have a child would still seek commercial surrogates overseas and lie about it.

It comes as a gay Melbourne couple who paid an Indian surrogate to give birth to twin girls won a major Family Court case for parenting rights for the non-genetic partner.

Justice Paul Cronin said: “While it is clear that the Act talks about a parent as a mother and a father … biology does not really matter. It is all about parental responsibility.”

[SourceOriginal Article]

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