NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher has introduced new laws that will allow reproductive donors to block their genetic material from going to gay men and lesbians, single women and selected cultural backgrounds.
Commercial surrogacy will also be banned in the Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill debated yesterday.
Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes joined Greens MLC John Kaye and the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby in calling the laws unjustified discrimination that would harm gay parenting options.
The premise of this Bill is not to be discriminatory to any person, a spokeswoman for Meagher said. But she confirmed the Anti-Discrimination Act would not protect hopeful gay parents from exclusion.
Meagher argued it wasn’t in a child’s best interest to discover later in life that their genetic parent has a fundamental objection to their existence or the social and cultural circumstances in which they were raised.
Kaye rejected that, saying we have to accept that sexuality, martial status, and different religions are just part of society.
I’ve known people whose provenance is via a turkey baster, and there’s always stress and issues when they meet their biological father, he said. If you donate gametes you are donating into a lottery anyway.
Organ donation laws specifically prevent conditional consent, but Meagher’s spokeswoman said there were no plans to extend the new policy to organ consent.
The gay and lesbian community were among a number of groups and individuals consulted in the preparation of the Bill, she added.
But all of the Lobby’s recommendations to minimise the harm to prospective gay parents have been ignored.
Both the Lobby and the Greens have argued that if conditional consent was non-negotiable, donors should be informed about the comparable success of children raised in lesbian families.
The idea that an egg or sperm donor has the right to exclude a person from becoming a parent on the grounds of their sexuality goes completely against Australia’s human rights obligations, Commissioner Innes said.
The human rights principle of the best interests of the child is about protecting children and their parents from discrimination -“ this principle most certainly does not support the idea of propagating discrimination against actual or potential parents, he said.
Lobby co-convenor Emily Gray said the full impact was yet to be determined, as the laws were vague and reproductive industry regulations had not been finalised.
The NSW Government is yet to move on a review of parenting laws and HREOC recommendations that called for a non-biological parent in a same-sex relationship to be included on the child’s birth certificate.

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