More Australians are calling for commercial surrogacy to become legal and accessible, according to a new study.
The online survey, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, showed that 60 per cent of people were overwhelmingly supportive of new laws to be introduced for families, irrespective of their marital status or sexuality.
Groups like Surrogacy Australia are campaigning on behalf of many would-be parents who have exhausted all their options and need a better framework for surrogacy to be created.
They’re asking the government to improve upon the current laws that only allows for ‘altruistic’ (or non-paid) surrogacy arrangements.
Under current legislation - which differs between states- any woman who carries a baby for another woman can only be reimbursed for her medical costs and expenses. This means women looking for a surrogate must rely upon the generosity of the carrier.
The result is only a few babies a year born through Australia’s surrogacy laws - prompting many desperate couples to head overseas to Bali or Cambodia in search of a gestational carrier.
The study also found broad support for a fee of around $10 - $15k to be paid to potential surrogates, the idea being its enough to incentivise the scheme without creating potential profit-chasing.
Australian-based surrogacy rights groups highlight the recent controversy of Baby Gammy, the arrest of the Australian, who allegedly set up a surrogacy business in Cambodia, Tammy Davis-Charles and the fear that many families who have used overseas surrogate mothers in places such as India and Thailand could now be charged with people trafficking.