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Surrogacy in Australia: New Legal Developments

Bioethics Research Notes
Volume 23 Issue 2 (Jun 2011)

Abstract: The practice of surrogacy in Australia has been controversial since its beginning in the late 1980s. In 1988, the famous 'Kirkman case' in the state of Victoria put surrogacy on the national map. This was a two-sisters surrogacy - Linda and Maggie Kirkman and the resulting baby Alice - in which power differences between the two women were extraordinarily stark: Maggie was the glamorous and well spoken woman of the world; Linda who carried the baby, was the demure school teacher in child-like frocks and pig tails. Their IVF doctor applauded altruistic surrogacy. He called it 'gestational surrogacy' and proclaimed that if the so-called surrogate mother didn't use her own eggs, thus wasn't the baby's 'genetic' mother, no attachment would ensue! This statement is haunting us to this day. It is patently absurd: as a baby grows in a woman's body over the nine months of the pregnancy, it is hard to see why the 24/7 presence of the baby inside her body, its growth, its interaction with her (movements, the baby's kicking) would be any different whether s/he has the mother's genes!

To cite this article: Klein, Renate. Surrogacy in Australia: New Legal Developments [online]. Bioethics Research Notes, Vol. 23, No. 2, Jun 2011: 23-26. Availability: <;dn=149152230345777;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1033-6206. [cited 29 Oct 16].

Personal Author: Klein, Renate; Source: Bioethics Research Notes, Vol. 23, No. 2, Jun 2011: 23-26 Document Type: Journal Article, Opinion ISSN: 1033-6206 Subject: Human reproductive technology; Surrogate motherhood--Law and legislation; Surrogate motherhood--Psychological aspects; Surrogate mothers--Legal status, laws, etc.;

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection