Not for profit: the case against commercial surrogacy

The Author Sonia Allan is a Senior Lecturer, Health and Biotechnology Law at Deakin University

For singles and couples who can’t naturally conceive and carry a baby to term, surrogacy is sometimes considered an option to have a child. Current laws across Australia permit “altruistic” surrogacy which prohibit the exchange of funds for surrogacy, beyond reasonable expenses, in order to protect the woman and child involved.

Some commentators argue these restrictions should be lifted to allow commercial surrogacy. This would involve a transaction between a commissioning person or couple and a woman, either directly or via a broker. So the woman carries and bears a child, and then permanently relinquishes it to the commissioning person or couple, in exchange for a fee.