Archive for October, 2008

Getting ready to fly

October 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Ethan is getting ready to go visit grandma in Taiwan

— Post From My iPhone

Categories: ethan

The Advertiser – "30 South Australian lesbian mums ‘impregnated by same man" by Tony Shepherd

October 8, 2008 Leave a comment

UNREGULATED sperm donation is leading to unusual situations in which the children of lesbians in Adelaide are mixing socially – creating a risk of incest.
One of South Australia’s foremost experts in reproductive technology – Reverend Dr Andrew Dutney – says that in one reported case, about 30 lesbians were impregnated by sperm from one man.
The mothers then organised picnics with all the children, raising the fear they might socialise with their half-siblings without realising they are related.
In another case, a man’s sperm was used to produce 29 children, most of whom are living in Adelaide. They do not know who their half-siblings are, raising concerns that in a “big country town” like Adelaide, they could accidentally commit incest.
In South Australia it has become standard practice to identify sperm donors, which has put men off donating through reproductive clinics.
Fertility treatments do not generally cater to homosexuals, because the law says it is only for infertile couples or those at risk of transmitting a serious defect.
These factors combine to push many people wanting children to seek help elsewhere – either through “turkey basters” or casual sex with friends or willing participants found online.
Assoc Prof Dutney, the former chair of the SA Council on Reproductive Technology and Associate Professor of Theology at Flinders University, says the SA regulations are at fault and should be repealed altogether, leaving reproductive medical units to comply with the national ethical guidelines.
He uses the anecdote of the “very generous” sperm donor to emphasise that when people are excluded from access to reproductive technology, it forces them to go it alone, and have children outside the normal system.
Those children were born about a decade ago, meaning they will be reaching adolescence in the next few years.
“The effect of our regulations here in SA is that they produce unregulated donor conception, whereas a system with a lighter touch would bring a whole lot more parents and children into the light,” Assoc Prof Dutney said.
“The situation at the moment is that … by adhering to the SA legislation, clinics have to be in breach of the national code.
“Under SA’s legislation, anonymity is guaranteed while under the national code of ethics, the child’s access to knowledge has to be provided.”
A different man’s sperm was used to produce 29 children, most of whom are living in Adelaide. Again, they don’t know they are related.
Leonie Hewitt is the mother of one of the children in Adelaide from the second example mentioned above. She is also the spokeswoman for the Sydney-based Donor Conception Support Group of Australia.
She says people need to recognise the “human rights” of the children in all of this.
“There needs to be consistent national legislation,” she said.
“We need to protect people who are conceived through donations whether in straight or homosexual families, we need to protect those children.
“We need national harmonising legislation that protects human rights.”
Categories: IVF, Sperm Donor

Michael painting

October 6, 2008 Leave a comment

— Post From My iPhone

Categories: Uncategorized

Testing out blogging on my iPhone

October 6, 2008 Leave a comment

This is a test of blogging on my iPhone. It is pretty neat though I wish there was cut and paste.

— Post From My iPhone

Categories: Uncategorized

This is a test

October 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Jeff building a cart for ethan

— Post From My iPhone

Categories: Uncategorized

Melbourne Leader – "Life’s Indian Givers" by Hamish Heard

October 1, 2008 Leave a comment

AN increasing number of homosexual Melbourne men are flying to India to save money on the cost of having babies, a gay parents’ organisation says.

Gay Dads Australia spokesman Rodney Cruise said gay Melburnians could save about $90,000 by using Indian surrogate mothers.

It is illegal for gay couples to have babies via surrogacy in Australia. But during the past seven years many have flown to the US or Canada where they pay about $120,000.

“Gay couples who previously wouldn’t have been able to have children because California is too expensive can take up the Indian option for basically a quarter of the cost,” Mr Cruise said.

“We’re seeing more and more couples take up the Indian option,” he said.

Mr Cruise said surrogacy cost only $30,000 in India.

Most of the money is paid to the surrogate, a woman who agrees to carry an embryo in her womb for the term of the pregnancy before giving birth and handing over the baby. Mr Cruise said couples could conceive using anonymous donor eggs or eggs donated by a relative or friend.

“Mostly it’s gestational, where the surrogate carries an embryo that has been created outside the womb. The surrogate rarely would use their own egg,” Mr Cruise said.

Until couples cottoned on to Indian surrogacy, only older, better-off couples could afford children.
“Generally people have been mortgaging their homes to fund this, and that’s fine for people who are in that position, but it can be heartbreaking for those without the resources to do so,” Mr Cruise said.
He said the “vast majority” of Australians using overseas surrogates were from Melbourne.

“There’s probably 40 couples that I know that have had children via surrogacy.” He said many gay couples had been inspired by a 2003 documentary called Man Made: Two Men and a Baby, about Tony Wood and Lee Matthews, a Melbourne couple who became one of the first Australia to produce a baby using an overseas surrogate.

“Maybe Melbourne is just a town where people settle down, or it could be the fact that the pioneering couples were from Melbourne and that’s had an effect of inspiring others around them,” Mr Cruise said.

[Link: Original Article ]

Australian Gay & Lesbian Law Blog – "Victoria: Major Changes to IVF Laws" by Stephen Page

October 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Stephen Page from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia is a partner with Harrington Family Lawyers, Brisbane, a long established boutique family law firm. He writes a wonderful blog called “Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog. [Ed – Rodney Cruise]

The Victorian Government has put a Bill before the Parliament proposing major changes to the way that ART and IVF services are delivered. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill 2008 proposes a new regime for the regulation of IVF services.

Some significant features:
– surrogate arrangements will now be able to occur in Victoria. They will not be limited to married couples. People seeking surrogate arrangements could be single (male or female), married or de facto, or same sex partners.
– commercial surrogacy in Victoria could occur. However, the surrogate mother can only receive her expenses reimbursed and cannot be allowed to profit. There would also be a ban on advertising for surrogates. In reality, these limitations should prevent commercial surrogacy.
– an egg or sperm from a dead person can be used to fertilise the dead person’s partner (so is not limited to married couples, and might include lesbian but not gay couples) in limited cases.
– sets up the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority.
– changes presumptions about children for women who are single or have female partners- “the man who produced the semen used in the procedure is presumed, for all purposes, not to be the father of any child born as a result of the pregnancy whether or not the man is known to the woman or her female partner” and the female partner is presumed to be a parent. However, if a donor egg was used, the donor is presumed not to be the mother of the child born as a result of the pregnancy. Therefore if the female partner were to be the donor, she would be a parent but not the mother.

The Bill is subject to a conscience vote, so it remains to be seen if it passes both Houses.

[Link: Original Article ]

Categories: IVF, surrogacy