It’s okay – just break the law

By Ruth Limkin

It would be funny if it weren’t so, well, illegal.

For very good reasons, commercial surrogacy is banned in Australia. It’s against the law for you to pay someone here or overseas to conceive and carry a child that you will then take and call your own.

So when a family law specialist, Professor Jenny Millbank, heard about two sets of parents who broke the law, and commissioned a child be carried for them in Thailand, what did she say?

Did she condemn these illegal acts which encourage exploitation of women to rent out their uterus, or commodification of children, as products to be effectively bought and sold?


She appeared to condone the continuination of this illegal practice, coupled with deception of Australian authorities.

Her response to the news that the two sets of parents may face criminal charges (for breaking the law), she described the decisions as “very surprising”, saying “they would encourage parents to lie about their children’s conception and birth. I think parents from NSW, the ACT and Queensland are now very unlikely to approach the Family Court for orders,” she said. Such families now have a serious incentive to conceal the circumstances of birth in order to present themselves as legal parents to government authorities.”

Or, such families could just not break the law in the first place.

Children are not commodities. They should never be treated as such.