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Surrogacy Bill


Surrogacy Bill

by Gerard Goiran

The Surrogacy Bill 2008 passed both Houses of the WA Parliament in December on a conscience vote.

The Christian Democratic Partycampaigned hard to have the Bill amended. We wrote to all Parliamentarians to alert them of the dangers of this legislation.We prepared amendments which were taken up by the Hon Helen Morton and the Hon Barbara Scott in the Legislative Council and by Mr Peter Abetz in the Legislative Assembly.

Unfortunately, the Bill went through without amendments.

The following Members of Parliament voted against the Bill and deserve to be congratulated:

Legislative Assembly

Abetz, Castrilli, Harvey, Nahan, Alban, Catania, Jacob, Quirk, Blayney, Cowper, Jacobs, Stephens, Buswell, Francis, Kristicevic, Britza.

Legislative Council

Faragher, Morton, Scott, Fels, Dermer and Pham.

It is interesting to note that four of the five Liberal members (Abetz, Nahan, Britza and Francis) who were elected with CDP preferences voted against the Bill. Unfortunately, Paul Miles (Liberal, Wanneroo) voted for the Bill.

This legislation will now allow infertile single women (irrespective of sexual orientation) to become parents and raise children without the presence of a father. Coupled with the legislation recently passed by the Federal Senate, both members of a lesbian couple will now be officially recognized as the parents of a child born out of a surrogacy arrangement.

It will also be possible for a child to have up to four “parents” (plus their partners) consisting of the egg donor, the sperm donor, the birth mother and the commissioning mother. Under the legislation, the child will be subjected to an approved home visit plan (from the tender age of 29 days) to allow access by his four “parents”, if that is what the adults’ desire.

Finally, the legislation fails to address the issue of a potential dispute arising between birth mother and commissioning mother when a disabled child is born and remains unwanted by either party. Also, the issue of who can consent to an abortion under our existing legislation is not addressed. Could the commissioning mother force the birth mother to have an abortion? Nobody knows as this will be a matter for the courts to determine when the situation arises.

All in all it is a very poor outcome, which just proves one point: we need more committed Christians in Parliament to achieve righteous legislation. We need to persevere more than ever in our efforts to gain representation in both State and Federal Parliaments!

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