‘Don’t bother’: fewer than five same-sex couples in Victoria approved for adoption since 2017

The Guardian | March 18, 2023

Although Victoria legalized adoption for same-sex couples in 2017, that route to family formation leads nowhere for most same-sex couples hoping to adopt––in part due to bias and in part due to decreasing adoptions more broadly. Many same-sex couples turn to surrogacy instead.

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What is Commercial Surrogacy and Why Can’t Australians Use It Here?

Samantha Selinger-Morris | The Sydney Morning Herald | November 10, 2022

In Australia, ethical concerns with commercial surrogacy resulted in a ban on the practice; only altruistic surrogacy is legal. Couples often venture abroad in the hopes of finding a surrogate in countries where payment is legal.

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Inside Ukraine’s Surrogacy Crisis: The Australian Families Caught In The War

Kathryn Madden | Marie Claire | November 2, 2022

With a legislative prohibition on compensated surrogacy, many Australian couples look abroad for surrogates, sometimes pursuing dangerous or illegal arrangements. Do these precarious agreements leave surrogates vulnerable to exploitation?

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Historic Surrogacy Legislation Passes

Mirage | May 12, 2022

Australia’s Northern Territory passed the Surrogacy Bill 2022, which regulates domestic surrogacy for the first time and outlaws commercial surrogacy. The Bill establishes frameworks for intended parents, prioritizes children’s rights, and protects surrogates’ autonomy.

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First Surrogacy Baby Born to Single Man Shaun Resnik in Victoria

Holly Hales | NCA NewsWire | April 5, 2022

A new dad became the first single man in Victoria to father a biological child through surrogacy. In Australia, strict surrogacy regulations ban paid surrogacy and require extensive counseling and screening for the biological parent.

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US Couple Withdraws Legal Action Against ABC Over Claim They Abandoned Surrogate Child With a Disability

Australian Associated Press | The Guardian | July 27, 2021

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation covered a story about a couple’s surrogacy arrangement in a 2019 article about Ukraine’s commercial surrogacy industry. The couple sued ABC for allegedly portraying them as heartless parents who abandoned their surrogate-born, disabled child Bridget in Ukraine. This June, the couple withdrew their defamation case due to a lack of funds, but will still be asked to pay ABC’s legal costs.   

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Travel Exemptions Granted For IVF Tourism and Surrogacy

Caitlin Fitzsimmons | The Sydney Morning Herald | June 13, 2021

A surrogacy education charity is helping Australian citizens obtain COVID travel exemptions from the government to go abroad for IVF treatment or surrogacy arrangements not available under federal or state law. All but one state in Australia forbid commercial surrogacy and all require egg donation be altruistic, so eggs are not available and intended parents are traveling outside the country for fertility treatments. Proponents of the Australian surrogacy legislation express shock that such a charity would help citizens circumvent a law meant to protect women from the exploitative nature of commercial surrogacy. 

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Nearly Half of Surrogates Are Doing it for a Friend

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons | The Sydney Morning Herald | September 22, 2019

New research out of Australia, where commercial surrogacy is illegal, shows that friends are overtaking family members as the most likely people to act as altruistic surrogates in that country.

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Article: Ethical Case for Abolishing All Forms of Surrogacy

Ethical Case for Abolishing All Forms of Surrogacy
By Catherine Lynch | Sunday Guardian | Oct. 28, 2017

This is the fifth installment of an ongoing series called “Global Child Rights, and Wrongs,” focussing on global child rights within the field of reproductive technologies.

While these are often discussed in terms of the rights of adults to have children, there is very little discussion from the perspective of the child born of such technologies.

Dr. Lynch, an Australian lawyer and adoptee rights activist, addresses this gap with an essay on the ethics of surrogacy and an argument to ban all forms of the practice.

Here is an excerpt:

As an adoptee, I was removed at birth from my gestational mother, her breasts bound for three days in another room while I screamed for her, and my hospital records record my growing distress. Adoptees around the world testify to their battles with depression and rage, difficulties in trusting and attachment, and a profound sense of loss and grief caused by the loss of their mothers at birth. Scientific studies prove that maternal-neonate separation in the crucial months after birth disturbs the baby’s heart rate and sleep and other biological systems, predisposing the child to difficulties later in life which can include relationship and emotional difficulties, mental disorders and illnesses. In taking a child-centered view of surrogacy, we must take into account what we know of the trauma and confusion of separation from the natural family, especially from the birth mother, experienced by adoptees.

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Article: Green Light for Australians’ Surrogate Babies to Leave Cambodia

Green Light for Australians’ Surrogate Babies to Leave Cambodia
By Lindsay Murdoch | The Sydney Morning Herald | April 3, 2017

In this update from Cambodia, a number of Australian intended parents are now being allowed to leave the country with their children. To do so, they must prove a biological link to a child and obtain a gestational mother’s approval.

The article also outlines the case against Australian nurse Tammy Davis-Charles, who is currently in jail in Cambodia for facilitating surrogacy arrangements and charging Australian intended parents $US 50,000 per child. If sentenced, Davis-Charles could spend up to two years in prison.

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