Monday, April 8, 2013

Medicare benefits for surrogacy?: Nine News Tuesday night

There is currently a push for Medicare benefits for the IVF component of surrogacy. While Medicare benefits are available for those undertaking IVF, the benefits are not available for those undertaking IVF for surrogacy. This is ridiculous, because most of those seeking to undertake surrogacy are doing so because it is the option of last resort- and typically they have spent $45,000 on IVF and related fees over 5 years before seeking to undertake surrogacy. They only seek surrogacy when IVF is not available. The only people who are able to access surrogacy without IVF first are gay men and single men- because biology dictates that they have no choice in it. Why intended parents who can use IVF and get government support is a good thing, but those who have tried that, are poorer for it, and cannot then get IVF by trying by different means makes no sense.

$45,000 is also the average cost of undertaking altruistic surrogacy in Australia, according to Surrogacy Australia last year. That's on top of the $45,000 already spent on IVF. This is a high price for the average couple. Anything that helps ease that cost and is non-discriminatory is welcome.

Why it is OK for rich people to access surrogacy but not poor people dictates who can be parents.

Why gay and single men must rely on surrogacy and not be subsidised like any intended parent undertaking IVF smacks of hypocracy, has the effect of being discriminatory and would appear to be homophobic.

Last week Davina Smith from Nine News interviewed Dr David Molloy from Queensland Fertility Group,  frustrated intended parents and me about this. The story goes to air tomorrow night (Tuesday)  in the main bulletin at 6pm.


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