Aussie bishops object to commercial surrogacy

Australia’s Catholic bishops have strongly objected to any suggestion of a commercial surrogacy industry.

In a submission to an Australian parliamentary sub-committee’s inquiry, the bishops said it would be “intolerable” to argue “harm minimisation” as justification for commercial surrogacy.

“Children are not commodities and should not be bought,” said Bishop Peter Comensoli, the bishops’ delegate for life issues.

“Legalising commercial surrogacy would allow the introduction of market values into the intimate and loving role that women have of carrying and giving birth to their child.”

The bishops criticised the concept of surrogacy, both commercial and altruistic.

The bishops acknowledged the pain and sadness couples face when they cannot have children because of infertility or the inability to carry a child to full term.

But the bishops pointed out surrogacy can transfer sadness from the infertile couple to the surrogate mother.

“Surrogacy allows for the exploitation of the women who act as surrogate mothers,” Bishop Comensoli said.

“It requires a woman to deny many of the significant, integral parts of the experience of pregnancy, which could have a long standing psychological impact on the surrogate mother.

“It gives priority to the childless woman, man or commissioning parents over the woman who is the surrogate mother.”

Bishop Comensoli added: “Surrogacy is not undertaken with the priorities and interests of the child in mind, but rather the interests of the adults who want a child.”

Bishop Comensoli praised adoption, but said a child should never be produced for the purposes of adoption.

“Surrogacy is different to adoption,” he said.

“Where children are adopted by a mother and a father, this matches the model a child should expect of a mother and a father in marriage as a good alternative for when a child cannot be brought up by her or his natural parents.”


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