From Australia comes this thinly veiled threat of an article about how unfair it is that Australians aren’t allowed to rent the wombs of other Australians. You see, there are people out there who “require the services of a surrogate.” Not desire: require as they require food, air, water, shelter, and sunlight. Yet all “Australian states and territories, except the Northern Territory” have banned binding Australian women to a nine-month slavery contract. So the people who require the use of a woman’s body are forced, forced I tell you, to go overseas and take advantage of poorer foreign women. “[B]ecause the only surrogacy permitted in Australia is altruistic surrogacy,” and, as it turns out, the average woman doesn’t want to make a free baby for someone else. Funny that.
“This is true,” the article points out, “even in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, where it is a criminal offence to enter into a compensated surrogacy arrangement overseas.”
Obviously these lawbreakers must be given what they want. I mean, if we make nice things expensive, thieves will steal them. If we buy a house, burglars will burgle it. That’s why we have to allow anyone who asks to kick us out of our houses and take our stuff. Obviously.
The article declares laws against foreign-womb-renting a failure. Why? Nobody enforces them: “There has not been a single prosecution, let alone a conviction, for pursuing extra-territorial surrogacy.” Then the problem here would seem to be the lack of prosecution rather than the law itself, wouldn’t it?
Is anyone else reminded of certain arguments for prostitution? I know I am. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is when the author invokes the UN Rights of the Child in defense of surrogacy:
“Article 7 provides that children have a right to an identity and to know and be cared for by their parents. Children born through surrogacy may have up to five parent-like people: two intended parents, a sperm donor, an egg donor and the surrogate. In this context, Article 7 is best understood as meaning that children have a right to know their biological and gestational parents and to be cared for by their intended parents.”
PARENT-LIKE PEOPLE. If anyone called any of my four parents that to my face, I’d pop’em right in the snoot.
“With many overseas surrogacies, the record-keeping is poor or non-existent, making it impossible for a child to find out their genetic origins.”
Then, once again, the problem is with record-keeping, not with a ban on being able to rent local and/or foreign wombs. Don’t you think that if the legal and lawbreaking womb-renters of Australia really found this record-keeping so important, they would already have demanded and gotten it? I know I do. I don’t think the average womb-renter gives a rat’s ass about the incubator they purchase, her identity, or the child’s right to know where s/he came from. If they did, they wouldn’t do overseas surrogacy, especially since, as the author tells us, Australia is scrupulous about such things:
“Australia has one of the best systems in the world for recording persons who donate eggs and sperm. This ensures that children born through surrogacy in Australia will be able to identify all the people associated with their creation.”
But PAPs don’t really care because, again, they will be forced to do unethical, illegal things if they can’t buy a woman’s reproductive system outright.
“We need to acknowledge and address the legitimate fears that people have about surrogacy. But rather than trying to stop these scientific advances, we should put in place safeguards to prevent exploitation of vulnerable women and protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.”
Help US help YOU sell us your body! Paid surrogacy IS the exploitation of vulnerable women, FFS. What “safeguards” would you propose? Because allowing only altruistic surrogacy seems like a very good safeguard to me.
As if all that weren’t bad enough, the author has the brazen gonads to quote Gibran on how “your children are not your children.” Of course they aren’t–they’re ours. Sell us your children now, Australian women, lest we be forced to commit crimes in the name of parenthood!
“This reminds us that how a child is conceived, and how a child is born, is largely irrelevant. What is important is that children are loved and their inherent dignity respected.”
And that is why, when a woman gives birth in Australia, she tenderly places the baby in a random crib in the maternity ward, blindfolds herself and spins around until she’s dizzy, and then takes home the first baby her hand happens to light upon.
For the millionth fucking time, how a child is conceived and born is not irrelevant in any way to anyone. Even people who are willing to hurt anyone and pay any price in order to get a baby they can call their own are lying to themselves about this, and they know it. They know damned well it’s important to them where they came from and who they look like. (In fact, didn’t you just argue that it is important that children know these things because it’s a human right?) The reason adopting/womb-renting couples want a baby rather than a waiting child is that they want to replicate the experience of raising one’s biological child from day one as closely as possible. Because it matters.
The article’s author is a professor in “Human Rights Law.” There is no human right to rent another person’s reproductive system.