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Megan Dansie

- 14 Aug 2014
  • Family Law

Why has surrogacy become such a talking point?

Calls are mounting for a full review into South Australia’s surrogacy laws in the wake of the baby Gammy case that continues to unfold in Thailand.

The problem with the laws we have now is that they have failed to move with the times and do not provide adequate protection for children or parents.

If we don’t act now and conduct a full and thorough review, there is every chance that we could end up having a case that is just like baby Gammy.

We can’t have children at risk because the laws simply don’t take into account the many informal arrangements for surrogacy.

What can then often end up happening is that there is no proper protection in place for children when something goes wrong.

Current legislation was drawn up in State Parliament in 2010 and amended in 2012 allowing for altruistic surrogacy while maintaining the ban on commercial forms.

The major problem though is that these laws don’t encompass the many issues that may arise in the event of a relationship breakdown or divorce, or, as we are seeing in Thailand, the terrible circumstance where a child is born with Downs syndrome.

State laws also fail to take into account the needs of same sex couples and single mothers who are the most likely to drive demand for surrogacy.

It is time we had laws that reflect what is actually happening rather than act when it is too late.

If you are considering surrogacy, make sure the first thing you do is get legal advice as it will not only set you on the right path but can prevent much heartache later on.