Untangling the Surrogacy Web and Exploring Legal Duties Following the Discharge of Mental Health Patients

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2015) 12(1)

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2018-123

Posted: 21 Sep 2018

See all articles by Bernadette Richards

Bernadette Richards

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: September 12, 2018

Abstract

Surrogacy agreements represent unique legal questions that must be answered with great care. In Australia we had the recent "Baby Gammy" scandal that involved an international surrogacy agreement and claims of abandonment of a child with Down’s syndrome. This story served to reinforce concerns that surrogacy turns children into a commodity that can be put to one side if expectations are not met. Of course, surrogacy agreements do not always end in this manner and often the outcome is positive. There are, however, underlying legal questions regarding the status of the child, with some children, born as the result of international surrogacy agreements, being practically stateless when the nation of the commissioning parents refuses to issue passports to allow the children to return "home" with their "parents." Where the relationship is local, however, and there is clear legislation, the issues can be problematic but can become complex where a party wishes to withdraw from the agreement, the child is deemed to be less than "perfect," or the parties wish to create a relationship that is outside of existing legal framework.

Keywords: surrogacy, legal duties, mental health

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K32

Suggested Citation

Richards, Bernadette, Untangling the Surrogacy Web and Exploring Legal Duties Following the Discharge of Mental Health Patients (September 12, 2018). Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2015) 12(1), U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2018-123, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3248209

Bernadette Richards (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

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