Saturday, October 11, 2014

[AU] "The rights of children must come first in international surrogacy" by Helen Freris

Now the opinion blog site "Online Opinion" is normally known for right wing crazy opinion pieces the sort of which I would never bother mentioning.  However, there is an interesting and timely piece by Helen Freris published this week called "The rights of children must come first in international surrogacy".

Helen Freris is the National Services Manager of International Social Service Australia. She is a qualified social worker and accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. She practices in the areas of cross-border family separation, international child welfare and post-adoption tracing and reunification. 

The recent case of Baby Gammy has drawn attention to the ethical pitfalls posed by international surrogacy. Significant among these is the need to refocus discussion of the issue towards the rights and best interests of children.

Few reliable statistics exist, but it is generally agreed that the number of children born through surrogacy is increasing, due to greater acceptance of assisted reproductive technology and a drop in the number of children available for adoption.

Unlike international adoption, which is highly regulated in Australia, and whose goal is to provide a family for children unable to be cared for in their own country, international surrogacy operates for the most part in a nebulous legal landscape. Offshore surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics have been established as profit-making ventures for the sole purpose of supplying children to involuntarily childless couples and individuals.

We need to focus squarely on the rights of children born through surrogacy arrangements, because they are not only longed for by their commissioning parents, but also individuals in their own right, members of our society with inherent rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The CRC provides that, among other rights, children have the right to grow up in a family and to know and preserve their identity and their relationships with their family of origin. The CRC also upholds children's entitlement to safety and security and to physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing.

Continue Reading at Online Opinion

No comments: