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AASW welcomes recommendations for commercial surrogacy to remain illegal in Australia

Published: 6 May 2016

The Australian Association of Social Workers strongly opposes the legalisation of commercial surrogacy in Australia. This is based on the potential for exploitation and problematic outcomes for children. The view is strongly supported in the recommendations from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Surrogacy (Report tabled 4 May 2016),

National President, Professor Karen Healy AM, says that the report rightfully highlighted the need to improve altruistic surrogacy in Australia through consistent legislation and increase in support services from qualified professionals for those involved.

"International evidence suggests that commercialising surrogacy has led to the exploitation of many women, and to significant problems for some children when they wish to better understand their identity, culture and background, only to find that the information about their birth is inadequate, or simply non-existent."

This is why the AASW continues to advocate against the introduction of commercial surrogacy in Australia she said.

"The focus needs to be on better supporting altruistic surrogacy, including ensuring that all parties have equitable access to educative and supportive counselling services as key part of the process"

Counselling and support programs carried out by qualified professionals can greatly contribute to positive health and wellbeing outcomes. This is supported by research on the impact of counselling programs in the areas of adoption and assisted reproductive technologies. Professor Healy concluded by saying that as the report highlights, a path of improved regulation, education and support for altruistic surrogacy would better serve the interests of all parties involved, and most especially those of any children born as a result of this practice.

The Australian Association of Social Workers represents over 9,500 professional social workers.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers