Should the legal restrictions and criminal penalties against

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					Should the legal restrictions and criminal penalties against altruistic
surrogacy be removed from the Surrogate Parenthood Act 1988 (Qld)?

These restrictions should be removed. "Underground" surrogacy can lead
to the exploitation of either party in a surrogacy relationship. Due to
the law in Queensland couples are forced to go interstate or overseas
to achieve the dream of having a family.      This is an expensive and
often exploitive option. My daughter was living in NSW with her husband
and had long term plans of relocating to QLD to start a family. At 23
she was diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer. Before treatment with
chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, NSW doctors gave the couple an
option of storing embryos so they could have a biological child.     My
daughter is now 28 and the only way her and her husband can have a
biological child is through surrogacy.    They are currently expecting
their first child with her sister-in-law acting as their surrogate in
NSW. If they were to undertake surrogacy in QLD, all parties involved
would be breaking the law.

Should the Queensland Government play a role in regulating altruistic
surrogacy arrangements in Queensland?

Surrogacy should be regulated. The government should set guidelines for
clinics to follow. It should be the clinic that decides whether or not
it will support a surrogacy arrangement. Both parties to the surrogacy
should be screened medically and psychologically. Counselling should be
undertaken to ensure both parties are aware of what surrogacy involves.
Where possible the child should be the genetically related to both
parents, however donor gametes should be allowed as long as the donor
has consented to the use in surrogacy. The ACT surrogacy laws are
workable. After a child is born through surrogacy, parents can apply to
the court to have the birth certificate changed and parentage is
granted for the child. This ensures that the child has legal
recognition in relation to its genetic parentage and inheritance. Court
proceeding usually happen between 6 to 26 weeks of age. The surrogate
mother should have the right to keep the child if she choses, however
genetic parents should have legal visitation rights in these instances.
There are extra ethical issues in the American system of contracts and
payments for surrogacy. In altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate mother
is not seeking financial gain but is doing this out of love for the
intended parents and the desire to help them have a family.

What other issues should be addressed by the Government?

The issue of parentage needs to be addressed.     This is particularly
important in the case of commissioning biological parents. The current
system requires commissioning biological parents to adopt their own
biological child.    This does not meet the needs or intentions of
surrogacy.

What criteria, if any, should the commissioning parent/s and/or
surrogate have to meet before entering into an altruistic surrogacy
arrangement?

Commissioning mothers should be infertile, medically unable to gestate,
or risk the health of the mother +/ child if carrying a pregnancy to
term. This must be determined by a medical specialist. The surrogate
mother should have had at least one live birth and completed her
family. Both parties should be mentally stable. Specialists (fertility
specialist, obstetrician, gynaecologist, phycologist, physiatrist, etc)
should assess both parties suitability for surrogacy and make their
recommendations to an ethics committee run by the clinic involved.

Should criteria for   commissioning   parents   be   similar       to       that   for
adoptive parents?

The time it takes for adoption is not acceptable. This should not be
imposed on people who require surrogacy.    Further, fertilized embryos
can only be stored for a limited time (5 years in NSW).

What role should a genetic relationship between the child and the
commissioning parent/s and/or surrogate play in an altruistic surrogacy
arrangement?

Where possible the child should be the genetically related to both
parents, however donor gametes should be allowed as long as the donor
has consented to the use in surrogacy.

Should at least one of the      commissioning   parents        have     a    genetic
relationship with the child?

Where medically possible parents should have a genetic relationship
with their child.   However if this is not possible, intended parents
should be allowed to use donor gametes for surrogacy.

Should the surrogate be able to use her gametes or should she have no
genetic relationship to the child?

If she feels comfortable on donating her egg for surrogacy then she
should be permitted to use her gametes. Donation of gametes is
currently allowable in Australia. In such cases however the sperm
should be from the commissioning father

What legal rights and responsibilities      should     be    imposed        upon    the
commissioning parent/s and/or surrogate?

The commissioning parents should be responsible for all expenses
relating to surrogacy. The surrogate should have all reasonable
expenses paid for including: maternity clothing, time off work, bed
rest, domestic help, child minding etc.

Should the definition of altruistic        surrogacy        only   include         pre-
conception agreements in Queensland?

It should cover all surrogacy agreements made in Australia, provided
that they meet the criteria for surrogacy by the Queensland government.
For example the surrogate should have minimal disruption to her life.
If she lived interstate, it would be beneficial for the surrogate to
undergo implantation procedures and birth in her home state.

How well does the transfer of legal parentage                 in a surrogacy
arrangement fit with contemporary approaches in               family law and
adoption?

Current family law does not allow or apply to surrogacy.
How important is it for there to be a mechanism for the transfer of
legal parentage that is specific to surrogacy arrangements? What would
this be?

Very important.   Commissioning parents should be able to apply for a
parentage order that transfers all parental rights and responsibilities
for the child to them. Birth certificates should record the
commissioning couple as parents (especially in the case of biological
commissioning parents).

Should the surrogate’s rights to be automatically recorded as the
child’s parent on the birth certificate and to approve legal transfer
after birth remain if she has no genetic connection to the child?

The surrogate should have the right to waive this right (in the case of
gestational surrogacy) and to transfer parentage to the commissioning
couple should she choose to do so at or soon after birth.

What rights should a child born through an altruistic surrogacy
arrangement have to access information relating his or her genetic
parentage? Who should hold this information?

Children should have the right to access information regarding their
genetic parentage. This information should be recorded and stored in a
similar manner to those children born from anonymous donors by a
central goverment body (or similar).

What, if any, other matters should be considered in the regulation of
this issue?

This issue is about creating families for those that have little or no
other options (especially for biological commissioning parents).

				
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Description: Should the legal restrictions and criminal penalties against