Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gay Aussie couples should reconsider going to Texas for surrogacy

Australians have ventured far and wide across the US to undertake surrogacy, not remaining content in California- going from Oregon in the west to Minnesota int he mid west,  Massachusetts in the north-east, and Tennessee and Florida in the south- and apparently most places in between.

One of the places that Aussies have been more interested in in recent times has been Texas. It's cheaper for surrogacy and seems to be well run. It has until now provided relative certainty. Texan attorneys have told me that if you are gay and married, then following the US Supreme Court case that legalised gay marriage across the US in 2015, Texas welcomed you with open arms.

I am now of the view that gay Aussies should pause before they consider going to Texas. This is aside from the obvious issue that in several parts of Australia it is a criminal offence to undertake commercial surrogacy overseas.

Why I've formed this view is because of a challenge currently under way in the  Supreme Court of Texas. That court a week ago has allowed a case to progress where there is a challenge to the rights of gay and lesbian married Texans. The challenge isn't to their being married, but whether they should have the same rights as heterosexual married couples. Essentially it is argued that gay and lesbian married couples shouldn't have the same rights as heterosexual married couples.

The US National LGBT Bar Association has raised concerns about the possible impact of the Texan case.

The fact that the case is being openly considered speaks volumes as to the current climate in Texas and means that gay married couples, who might rely upon Texas surrogacy law to become parents there, have to reconsider whether that is a good choice. if the Texas Supreme Court upholds the challenge, then it is expected that there will be a series of court cases about the issue- while the law in Texas on the point remains uncertain. In the meantime, gay married couples, in my view should reconsider going to Texas for surrogacy. To do otherwise might be to invite a lot of trouble.

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