Family Values Except for Surrogacy?

Sep 5, 2012
oliverwoodley

A week rarely goes by when some political figure doesn’t rise up to praise the concept of family. So, it seems odd, and even a little bizarre, to learn that people who want to start a family can end up fined and in jail.

No joke. Turns out that parents are willing to risk a lot to have a child via international surrogacy. As in two years in jail and a $110,000 fine because commercial surrogacy is illegal in three jurisdictions–NSW, Queensland and the ACT.

And that is at a time when a recent survey by Surrogacy Australia of 14 major international surrogacy agencies in India, the
US & Thailand during 2011 showed a 177% increase in babies born to Australians over a three year period.

That full research will be unveiled Friday by Sam Everingham of Stethoscope Research who will present his full findings at the 40th annual Australian Market and Social Research Society Conference in Melbourne. A quick peek at Everingham’s research reveals:

Despite the significantly lower total costs reported, almost half of respondents (46%) did not even consider altruistic surrogacy arrangements in Australia. The key reasons intending parents were put off included:

• the fear that an Australian surrogate would change her mind and decide to keep the child (60%)

• the feeling that asking someone to carry for love alone was too much to ask (48%)

• having no-one of the right age/ lifestage to ask (38%)

• too long/complicated a process (28%)

Of the 117 who at least considered altruistic surrogacy, nearly half (49%) did not ultimately go forward with such an arrangement. This group were most likely to report being unable to find a surrogate who would commit to carry altruistically. Other common reasons for failing to progress the arrangement were:

• risking damaging relationships with a surrogate who was already a close friend or relative

Seems like the law should catch up with the way people are trying to lead their lives, and be cognisant of the reasons people pursue international surrogacy. This seems like one of those laws mucking about with peoples’ private behaviour.

3Q: This week's episodes

» More Vision