Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wacky surrogacy laws

I read this article about Senator Stephen Conroy and his wife Paula Benson (Victoria, Australia) who finally got legal recognition of their status as parents to their child who was born by surrogacy. What surprised me most was the following paragraph:

Victorian law says that a woman can be a surrogate only if she is medically
infertile, a ruling that has been widely described as bizarre.

Even after reading that it was 'described as bizarre', I still thought there must be some mistake in the sentence. Perhaps only couples who were medically infertile were eligible to choose surrogacy? The surrogate mother??? So I went to look it up...

A slew of articles (like this one from The Age or this one also about Senator Stephen Conroy & his wife in The Brisbane Times) confirm that this is indeed the case...

Surrogacy laws in Israel are complicated too - for religious reasons. As far as I know, only gestational surrogacy is allowed. Then, a surrogate must be an unmarried woman (if a married woman were to carry a child created with the sperm of a man who is not her husband, the child would be considered a mamzer - not a good thing...) In addition, she must be the mother of at least one child of her own (though I have heard that this is standard in other countries too). I don't know how many babies are born by surrogacy each year in Israel, but the numbers are still very small.

Apparently, as it says in the articles - "the law has not kept up with science". I hope legislation will help those couples whose best chance to have a child is via surrogacy, while protecting all sides - the surrogate, the intended parents and especially the baby.


interesting search of the day: early symptoms of pregnancy in the father.

None that I know of. Perhaps finding multiple pee-stick wrappers lying around? Hearing barfing noises? Got any other ideas?


DrSavta said...

I would like to enter the contest:

Early symptoms of pregnancy in the man:

1. Finding the seat down ALL THE TIME!

2. Opening his Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and finding a brochure with pictures of naked babies.

3. Finds himself walking sideways in front of baby stores in the mall.

4. Notices he's eating for two (as wife has no appetite)

5. Finds himself prizing "just the two of us."

Bea said...

I love number four on that list.

And yes, what whacky, whacky surrogacy laws there are around. It's an area that definitely needs some work and thought.


JCK said...

It all gets so complicated when really it comes down to someone wanting desperately to have a child. This was an interesting post, Rachel.

Congrats on your beautiful, ever expanding family! ;) I can't believe you are on your 6th. But, then you are far braver and YOUNGER than I. :)

Thanks so much for coming by my blog so much and commenting. It means a lot. Happy Holidays!

Sara said...

Interesting post. I'm not sure what a good set of surrogacy laws would look like, but the Victorian laws sound crazy.

Thanks so much for your supportive comments on my blog. They really mean a lot to me.