By Catherine Smibert

BRISBANE, Australia, FEB. 8, 2010 ( A proposed bill that would legalize altruistic surrogacy in Queensland is not only unnecessary, but is a violation of one's birthright to enter into the world with a mother and a father, says the Family Council of Queensland.

Family doctor and spokesman of the organization, Dr. David van Gend, together with its president, Alan Baker, wrote this in a letter sent this week to the state's Parliament, which is set to vote Wednesday on the Surrogacy Bill 2009.

The bill would decriminalize non-commercial surrogacy for both heterosexual and homosexual couples, and single people. Queensland is the only Australian state where altruistic surrogacy is against the law.

"This Bill should have been about altruistic surrogacy as a 'last resort' for an infertile couple," the letter stated. "But no, under that respectable cloak this bill smuggles in an oppressive proposal to deprive children of their birthright -- their fundamental right to enter the world, as all of us did, with both a mother and a father.

"By what authority does any government permit adults to deny a child her primal right and most profound emotional need: to have both a Mum and a Dad in her life?"

"This Bill allows adults over 25 (including a single man or woman, or same-sex couples) to obtain a child 'of their own' using reproductive technology like IVF and a surrogate womb -- and the birth certificate will be legally falsified to declare the single woman, or the two men, to be the baby's 'parents,'" the letter added.

U.N. declaration

The missive notes that the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child supports their position, in that it affirms that a child must not, "save in the most exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother."

"And yet this bill will do exactly that, in a premeditated way," say van Gend and Baker. "For example, a little girl or boy shall live without a mother, simply to satisfy the desire of two men to have a baby of their own.

"This bill clearly despises the rights of this child; it is an assault on the heart and mind of a little child, and any Member of Parliament who votes for this bill is complicit in that assault."

The letter concluded: "There is a grave necessity -- and duty -- to reject a bill that would, through normalizing same-sex and single surrogacy, intentionally and wantonly deprive a child of her birthright and her most profound psychological need: to have both a mother and a father."

The Family Council of Queensland has also launched a campaign called Kids Rights Count, which seeks to inform the public on how and why surrogacy of any type is harmful to children.

On its Web site several videos featuring various experts and lawyers underline how unnecessary this bill is.

David Grace of the law firm Cooper Grace Ward recommends as an alternative an amendment to the existing Succession Act (to give surrogate children inheritance rights). Federal Courts already provide for the legal guardianship of the child.
The bill is strongly opposed by almost all Christian denominations, as well as the Jewish and Muslim faiths.

Alan Baker of the Kids Rights Count campaign maintains that "the Government is trying to rush it through before the wider community realizes that this extreme piece of social engineering will deprive some children born in the contexts of surrogacy, AID and IVF of either a mother or a father."

--- --- ---

On the Net:

Family Council of Queensland campaign: