"Surrogacy Bill 2010"

 Page: 27599

 Consideration in Detail

[Business resumed.]

Ms PRU GOWARD (Goulburn) [6.30 p.m.]: In addition to the reasons the Minister advanced for including in this bill and specifically outlawing international commercial surrogacy, certainly we are obliged to ensure that all children understand clearly their heritage and parentage. The strong moral reason for supporting this amendment is the exploitation of women in countries such as India and parts of Asia where the sex trade and organ sale industries flourish. Sadly, the surrogacy industry in particular would be attractive to women in those extremely poor countries. No doubt it would be an issue of conflict for them, but it says very little about Australia and its values if we are prepared to outlaw the exploitation of Australian women for the purposes of commercial surrogacy but we are not prepared to outlaw the exploitation of women in poor, developing countries for exactly the same purpose.

Women are not cows; they are not animals and their job is not to bear children for money because other people want children. If it is good enough to ensure that Australian women cannot be exploited commercially for this purpose, out of respect for women around the world—particularly the vulnerable women of Asia and other countries where commercial surrogacy flourishes—we should be particularly mindful that if we do not support this amendment, effectively we are saying that there is one rule for our women and another rule for women in poor countries. That is not good enough. Whilst this Parliament does not have a leading role in international relations and affairs, it should, as much as it is able, uphold Australian values, which must mean respect for all and the rights of all to live lives free of exploitation. Voting the right way will reflect our commitment to women in those poor countries and reinforce their rights as human beings.

Question—That the amendment of Ms Linda Burney be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment of Ms Linda Burney agreed to.

Question—That clauses 11 to 27 be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Clauses 11 to 27 agreed to.

Mr FRANK SARTOR (Rockdale—Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer)) [6.33 p.m.]: I move my amendment:

        No. 1 Page 13. Insert after line 8:

28 Maturity of younger intended parent must be demonstrated

(1) If an intended parent was under 25 years of age when the surrogacy arrangement was entered into, the Court must be satisfied that the intended parent is of sufficient maturity to understand the social and psychological implications of the making of a parentage order.

(2) An intended parent who was under 25 years of age when the surrogacy arrangement was entered into must provide evidence to the satisfaction of the Court:

            (a) that he or she received counselling from a qualified counsellor about the surrogacy arrangement and its social and psychological implications before entering into the surrogacy arrangement, and

(b) that the counsellor was satisfied that he or she was of sufficient maturity to understand the surrogacy arrangement and its social and psychological implications.

        (3) This precondition is a mandatory precondition to the making of a parentage order.

(4) This precondition does not apply to a pre-commencement surrogacy arrangement.

(5) If the Court grants leave to an intended parent to make a sole application in respect of a surrogacy arrangement that involves 2 intended parents, it is not necessary to establish that the intended parent who is not a party to the application meets this precondition.

As I said in my earlier comments, risks are associated with surrogacy and any law cannot foresee or address all of those risks. Clause 26 provides for a birth mother to be at least 25 years of age unless the court grants otherwise. I have added in clause 27 that the intended parents must be 18 years of age when they enter a surrogacy agreement. Given the risks outlined in my earlier comments, I propose an amendment that prescribes additional conditions on intending parents where they are over 18 but under 25 years. Clause 28 will require that the maturity of the younger intending parents be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the court and be the case at both the time of the application for a parentage order and when the preconception surrogacy agreement was entered into. The court can still grant a parentage order for people under 25, but this amendment is an added safeguard. In my agreement in principle speech I listed the range of significant evidence that maturity occurs in the mid-twenties. We also recognise New South Wales driving laws as an example of that maturity. On the basis of the precautionary principle, I move that the amendment be accepted.

Question—That the amendment of Mr Frank Sartor be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment of Mr Frank Sartor agreed to.

Question—That clauses 28 to 58 be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Clauses 28 to 58 agreed to.

Question—That schedules 1 and 2 be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to.

Consideration in detail concluded.

Passing of the Bill

Dr ANDREW McDONALD (Macquarie Fields—Parliamentary Secretary) [6.40 p.m.], on behalf of Ms Carmel Tebbutt: I move:

        That this bill be now passed.

The House divided.

Ayes, 53
Mr Ayres
Mr Baird
Ms Berejiklian
Mr Besseling
Mr Borger
Mr Brown
Ms Burney
Ms Burton
Mr Campbell
Mr Collier
Mr Constance
Mr Coombs
Mr Corrigan
Mr Costa
Mr Daley
Ms D'Amore
Mr Debnam
Ms Firth
Mr Furolo
Ms Gadiel
Ms Goward
Mr Greene
Mrs Hancock
Ms Hay
Mr Hazzard
Mr Hickey
Ms Hodgkinson
Mrs Hopwood
Ms Hornery
Ms Keneally
Mr Lalich
Mr Lynch
Dr McDonald
Ms McKay
Mr McLeay
Ms McMahon
Ms Megarrity
Ms Moore
Mr Morris
Mr O'Farrell
Mr Pearce
Mr Piper
Mr Provest
Mr Rees
Mr Sartor
Mr Stokes
Ms Tebbutt
Mr Terenzini
Mr Tripodi
Mr R. W. Turner
Mr Whan
Mr Ashton
Mr Martin

Noes, 27
Mr Amery
Ms Andrews
Mr Aplin
Mr Aquilina
Mr Baumann
Mr Cansdell
Mr Dominello
Mr Draper
Ms Fardell
Mr Fraser
Mr Harris
Mr Hartcher
Ms Judge
Mr Kerr
Mr Khoshaba
Mr McBride
Mr Merton
Mr O'Dea
Mrs Perry
Mr Richardson
Mr Roberts
Mr Shearan
Mr Smith
Mr West
Mr R. C. Williams

Mr George
Mr Maguire

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion agreed to.

Bill passed and returned to the Legislative Council with a message requesting its concurrence in the amendments.  (Source : http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20101110031?open&refNavID=HA8_1)

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