Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A surrogacy forum in Prahran tonight will explain how the country is the “new growth region” for gay singles and couples seeking fatherhood through surrogacy.
But the Australian Family Association says surrogacy “flat out denies children basic human rights”.
Gay Dads spokesman Rodney Cruise said gay men had the same desire to be fathers as straight men.
Would-be fathers used to go to the US and Canada, where commercial surrogacy was legal but expensive, he said. Paid surrogacy is banned in Australia.
“The surrogacy industry in India is mature and well-regulated,” Mr Cruise said.
“The lower costs mean the option to create a family has opened up to a much larger number of gay men.”
Surrogacy costs about $120,000 in North America compared with $40,000 in India, he said.
The Australian Family Association opposed surrogacy, AFA researcher Tim Cannon said.
“We understand lots of people want to have children, including gay men, but we believe surrogacy flat out denies children basic human rights,” he said.
Surrogate children were deprived of knowing both biological parents, which could lead to identity crises, he said.
Mr Cruise and his partner, Jeff Chiang, have a 21-month-old son, Ethan, “the best thing I’ve ever done in my whole life”.
“Gay (couples) are capable of providing all the love required to raise children,” Mr Cruise said.
Mr Cannon said the AFA was also concerned about “exploited” Indian women who “rented out” their wombs.
Mr Cruise said this was “unfair” and “patronising”, assuming women in India were less capable than Western women of informed choices.
Indian women were screened to ensure they understood the nature of surrogacy, and only mothers could be surrogates, he said.
About 40 gay couples in Victoria have had surrogate children, and many of them in Stonnington, Mr Cruise said.
Forum inquiries: gaydadsaustralia.com.au
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