Despite the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) making commercial surrogacy illegal, many couples still continue to take risks and go places like India and Thailand to undergo commercial surrogacy procedures. In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, in 2008 there were 423 applications for citizenship for babies who were born in India and Thailand, and in 2012 this number had more than doubled – to 978.
This shows that despite the considerable risk – fines of up to $110,000 and a maximum of two years imprisonment – couples are still willing to take this risk and try for a family.
Some couples resort to these options because adoption in NSW is hard, and that there are not many other options. Some couples do it out of desperation. We empathise with these couples. That being said however, we also consider that in some places, surrogates are often taken advantage of, despite the best intentions of the intended parents.
Somewhere, somehow, a balance must be struck between intended parents and the surrogates, allowing intended parents to start a family, and at the same time ensuring that surrogates are well protected.
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to these issues. We will continue to keep an eye on these matters, going into the future.