A LEADING Queensland Catholic bioethicist has described State Government moves towards decriminalising altruistic surrogacy as “disrespectful of the dignity of procreation and the dignity of the child”.
Queensland Bioethics Centre (QBC) director Ray Campbell added that if existing laws were amended to permit altruistic surrogacy (where a woman bears another person’s child for no financial benefit) it would open the way for commercial surrogacy.
Mr Campbell made the comments in response to an announcement by Premier Anna Bligh that a parliamentary committee to investigate the issue would be chaired by Labor MP Linda Lavarch and would report back by the end of September.
Changes to the current Queensland law relating to surrogacy, the Surrogate Parenthood Act 1988, would then be looked at in the light of this report.
Ms Bligh said, however, commercial surrogacy would not be legalised and that the Government opposed it.
However, Mr Campbell told The Catholic Leader the Church taught that surrogacy, no matter what form it took, is not “responsible motherhood” and is “against the marital good”.
Mr Campbell said he would be watching the path of the parliamentary inquiry, particularly the calling of submissions.
He would then make a submission as director of QBC on behalf of Brisbane archdiocese.
Regarding the issue of couples unable to conceive for whatever reason, Mr Campbell said it was important to realise that “no-one has a right to a child”.