Home > gay, surrogacy > The Age – "Online ads prompt surrogacy ban call" by Richard Baker

The Age – "Online ads prompt surrogacy ban call" by Richard Baker

A child welfare activist yesterday called for a national ban on surrogacy after revelations that six Australians were advertising for surrogate mothers on an American website.

The site, http://www.surromomsonline.com, also contains two classified ads placed by Australian women offering to be egg donors.

Those seeking surrogate mothers include a 42-year-old gay man, a father who sees his two children only twice a fortnight, and an infertile Melbourne couple.

Each state has different laws on surrogacy. Only the Australian Capital Territory allows non-commercial surrogacy.

Retired law lecturer and child welfare activist Neville Turner said a nationwide ban on surrogacy was needed to protect children. “These people are desperate, perhaps, so it’s up to the law to prevent desperate people from producing children who are going to be emotionally disturbed and bewildered,” he said.

Mr Turner said advertising for a surrogate mother was illegal in Victoria under the state’s Infertility Treatment Act.

Premier Steve Bracks said yesterday that a Werribee woman who had advertised herself as an egg donor on the American website was breaking Victorian law and might face prosecution. He called on the woman, who has already helped a Melbourne couple reach the early stages of pregnancy, to formally register her services as a donor at an IVF clinic.

Mr Bracks said the case highlighted the need for national laws for the Internet in Australia.

The gay man seeking a surrogate mother said he had placed his ad on the US website last week and had received eight responses, including one from an 18-year-old.

He said his dream of fatherhood included the long-term involvement of the surrogate mother. “I want my child to know why they came into the world the way they did, and who their surrogate mother is,” he said.

The first legal Australian surrogacy resulted in the birth of a baby girl in Canberra in 1996.

– with AAP

[Link: Original Article]

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