Community and Family Studies

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Parenting and Caring

Becoming parents and carers

Social parenting

Social parenting includes adoption, fostering, step parenting and surrogacy. There are various legal and social implications for this form of parenting.

Hand on mouseStudent activity
  1. Brainstorm reasons why a couple unable to become biological parents would seek to become social parents.

  2. Use a table to identify the positive and negative social implications of social parenting in our society.

Surrogacy and the law

Surrogacy refers to a situation in which one woman has a child on behalf of another woman or couple. The child may be conceived by sexual intercourse or by artificial insemination and be carried by a surrogate or substitute mother.

Hand on mouseStudent activity
  1. Discuss arguments for and against surrogacy. When developing your arguments, consider the viewpoints that might be expressed by different groups within society such as a childless couple, a same sex couple, a blended family and different cultural and religious groups.

    Analysing the information contained in the following links may assist you to develop arguments for and against surrogacy:

    • The Surrogacy debate (external website)
      Discussion Paper 18 (1988)- Artificial Conception: Surrogate Motherhood: Surrogacy Today

    • The debate (external website)
      Report 60 (1988) Artificial Conception: Surrogate Motherhood: The Debate

Check answer

There is no legislation which bans surrogacy in NSW; however people hoping to have a child through a surrogacy arrangement are not encouraged by the law.

Hand on mouseStudent activity
Read the following case study and complete the related questions below.

Peter and Marie have been married for 10 years. Peter is happy in his career as an engineer and Marie has worked in sales for 5 years. They have been trying for a child unsuccessfully for 4 years and have tried all avenues for assisted pregnancy. Their doctor has said that their chance of having a child is very low. They feel that their family is not complete without a child and have been investigating other ways to complete their family.

Marie’s sister Rita suggested that they should try surrogacy. Rita is willing to be the surrogate mother and to have the baby for Marie and Peter. The baby will be conceived by artificial insemination, using Peter’s sperm and Rita’s egg. Rita has three children of her own. Rita’s children and her husband Ben have no concerns about her going through with this procedure in order to help Marie and Peter have a family.

Peter and Marie will pay for Rita’s medical bills and will support her emotionally during her pregnancy.
  1. Use the link (external website) provided to outline the laws or acts specific to regulating surrogacy arrangements in NSW and relevant to the case study on Peter and Marie.

Check answer

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