Wombs for rent, ten bucks a day


Knee-jerk reaction laws intended to placate minorities usually incurs collateral damage. But unintended consequences cannot and should not be excused when it comes to fulfilling irresponsible dreams for parenthood. Children are not puppies to be returned to the pet shop when they become inconvenient. Their minds and bodies are a lifetime commitment. GC.Ed.

One aspect of proposed same-sex marriage legislation is slowly percolating into the room like the smell that nobody admits to.
The fact is that homosexual males who want to be fathers need a young woman to be a surrogate mother.
Where will these women come from?
There is another kind of legislation or law at work here – the Law of Supply and Demand – a law that applied before the Egyptians, and which has never been repealed. And the answer to the question is – wherever the wombs are cheapest.
Of course, there are other aspects – there has to be good medical attention, state-of-the-art gynecological services.
Of course, of course.
And there is a place where the wombs are cheapest, where doctors are
available, where laws are elastic.
They may have a s’house cricket team, but they have doctors experienced in IVF – and millions and millions of impoverished young women.
The surrogate motherhood industry in India is worth well over $2 billion
a year, and growing.

The users of the industry from the west pay one-fifth the cost they would pay in England or the US or Australia to have the mother carry the child.
The mum gets about $2000 to $4000, depending on what organisers can bargain for.
There is no mention in the stats of what happens if the child is born blind, or with Down’s Syndrome. The guess is that the ‘problem’ is detected
early and the baby disposed of. Which means that the young mother can try again – maybe.
It is reported that at least some of the IVF clinics are preparing for an increase in demand when legislation in the US and Australia and Israel comes into force which gives homosexuals full adoption rights.
Although it can, and is, done now, there is a kind of delay because the
homosexuals seem to be waiting for a redefinition of “marriage”. A
spokesman for the Fertility Institutes of Las Vegas and Los Angeles
which uses American women as surrogates reports that every time there is
agitation in the press for homosexual marriage, his phone bill goes up.
So much that he advises that they are seriously thinking of cost-cutting and outsourcing the job of surrogacy.
To Mexico.
Where there are a lot of poor young women as well.
Another unreported issue is how the young women feel about the fact that their baby girl or baby boy will be brought up in a homosexual household.
Of course, with modern enlightened views, and clear recognition that
liberal philosophy is here to stay, and anti-discrimination laws, and school curriculums that teach the normalcy of homosexual relations, it
is expected that the Indian and Mexican girls will be very happy with
the forward-looking new-age attitudes in this issue, and will not raise
the slightest objection, or have the least misgivings.
Especially since they can make up to $3000 for taking on what can be a risky and dangerous job.
Maternal deaths in childbirth in the west range from 3.0 per 100,000
(Italy) to 17 per 100,000 (US). Australia is 5 per 100,000.
The figure for India is 250 per 100,000.
That is an average, of course, and not in the IVF clinics. It is perfectly safe there.
Of course, of course.

im McCrudden is a retired lawyer, an avid admirer of Dickens, Shakespeare and many others. He lives on the NSW South Coast, has a keen interest in politics and sits on local government.

London Riots: No wonder these kids think stealing trainers is OK. Everyone makes excuses for them.

Teacher and UK blogger, Katherine Birbalsingh writes at the London Daily Telegraph:

The reason your house is not regularly robbed is not because you lock your doors. It is because most people don’t steal. Sure, locking is a deterrent used to deter those on the fringes of society, but the main reason you are not attacked on the street, shops are not constantly looted and burnt down, and we all don’t take things that don’t belong to us is because someone, when we were little, taught us the difference between right and wrong.

Put a child in front of an insect and he will take great delight in making it suffer until his mother or father tells him that causing pain is wrong. Children need to be brought up properly with parents who care enough about them to say no, with a school system that cares enough to admit when behaviour is out of control, with a community that recognises that we are ALL responsible for our children.

Motherhood and feminism

Monica-Oshea The attacks by left-wing feminists on Natalie Portman shows their contempt for the family unit, writes Monica O'Shea.

When Natalie Portman won her Oscar on Monday, she thanked her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, for  providing her with “the most important role of my life."

This struck a chord with me, as it would have with many people watching the live telecast from LA. 

If you speak to any mother, or indeed father, they would rate giving birth to their children as one of their proudest moments in life.

So who could blame Natalie for relating to all mothers, and sharing a personal view that giving birth is her most important role in life? 

The left, it seems.

No sooner had she aired her comments, than the left started accusing her of undercutting her work and downplaying the value of an Oscar.  

Salon media group writer Mary Elizabeth Williams provided the following thoughts

“…is motherhood really a greater role than being secretary of state or a justice on the Supreme Court? Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?,” she said. 

Slate writer KJ Dell'Antonia put it this way:

“…every time a powerful woman downplays her other achievements as inferior to her maternal status, she feeds the doubt that still pursue working mothers at every end of the spectrum: Will she really take her work seriously or will she put her children first?” 

These comments are offensive to mothers and anyone who values family.  

First, Portman was not trying to downplay her achievements, she was simply expressing in her own way, that being a mother is important. 

Second, what right do feminists have to put words in Portman's mouth and judge her for having a personal view?

Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams asked the question if motherhood is a greater role than being Secretary of State. 

But she misses the point – it's not about what role is more important, it's about recognising that politicians and movie stars like all people, have families. 

Indeed, no-one understands the importance of family more than politicians. 

Many politicians have given up promising careers on the back of family tragedies.

Why?  Because politics is a nasty game and most politicians recognise that when their personal life falls into tatters, it won't be fellow politicians who will be picking up the pieces – it will be their family.  

But be it a movie star, politician, blue or white collar worker or sport star – what we all have in common is we have a family. 

This is what made Portman's comments so appealing – they showed similarity with every day Americans.    

What the left don't realise, is that we all have the right to voice our opinions and we all have our own take on what is the most valuable aspect of our life. 

That means the best judge as to whether an Oscar, Harvard Degree or motherhood is more important is not the raging feminist – it's Natalie Portman. 

Monica works in the public service and is involved in the Young Liberal Movement in South Australia.

Where have our standards gone?

Cory-Bernardi Australia's social standards are being eroded, writes Senator Cory Bernardi.

Evidence of our decaying values is presented with monotonous regularity in our daily papers and on our plasma screens. We can witness cruelty and hate in high definition via YouTube or see 'happy-slapping' on our mobile phone.

It has to make you wonder what our world is coming to.

Now I know that people have done impulsive and foolish things since the dawn of time. It's part of growing up and learning from good and bad experiences. 
As a parent, you can only hope to equip your children with the correct decision making framework that will help them to make choices without catastrophic consequences.

Somewhere along the way, this goal seems to have deserted an increasing number of parents and the damage it is doing to young lives and our society could be permanent.

Many readers will be familiar with the boundary pushing and questioning of authority that characterise adolescence. Looking back, one hopes that others forget our youthful indiscretions on our journey to adulthood. In most cases this is true.

Less than a decade ago, few would have sent an abusive letter or email replete with profanity. The mere idea of including foul language in a written communication as a permanent record would be considered most unwise.

Yet today, the Facebook generation think nothing of attaching their name to vile abuse of those they know (or don't). They join online groups in support of the most depraved and callous actions because they think it is funny, tough or mature.

And it's not just adolescents. A surprising number of adults also email or post online messages of hate or abuse.

The fact that this type of behaviour rarely raises an eyebrow any more suggests that the social mores that have kept society civil and functioning are rapidly breaking down.

The evidence to support this surrounds us every day.

We are now a society that demonises smokers but seems to accept an illicit drug culture. Somehow it has become okay to sexualise five year olds through provocative dance videos but offensive to speak about Christianity.

Why is it that we defend the right of extremists to free speech yet remain silent in defending our own culture and society? 

It seems the greatest public offence today is to actually speak out in favour of traditional values and virtues. In the name of progress and tolerance our moral code is now deemed relative with all views, no matter how divergent, being equally valid.

Well, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the moral relativists, I won't subscribe to that theory. There is a clear difference between good and bad, and right from wrong. It is about time we started saying so again.

To remain silent will have potentially devastating consequences for our children and our society.

Senator Cory Bernardi is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and a Senator for South Australia. This article is courtesy of his personal blog which can be found at http://www.corybernardi.com.

Of expressive divorces and stolen childhoods (part two)

Ben-Peter-Terpstra Ben-Peter Terpstra writes his second installment on the effect of expressive divorces on children and society. 

Adults-only libertarians and heartless feminists don’t like conservatives talking about children and divorce, for a number of reasons. On a personal level, the subject can open up old wounds, or expose them, if we’re being completely frank. Indeed it is dangerous to talk about professional libertarians who’ve abandoned or neglected their children. For boys, the pain of fatherlessness can’t be medicated away either, although many have tried with tragic results.  

In Love & Economics, Jennifer Roback Morse carries the position that the laissez- faire family doesn’t work. It. Simply. Doesn’t. Work.  On the one hand, Morse embraces the idea that the libertarian doesn’t want to create heaven on earth. On the other, she acknowledges that the “libertarian political philosophy sometimes overlooks another facet of human helplessness: that people are completely incapacitated during infancy, and partially so in old age and illness.”

“Libertarianism needs a social theory that looks more closely at the helpless people – children – who reappear every generation” argues Morse. Later, she humbly adds, “I think it is well to admit…that our inattention to family life and community responsibility have left libertarians open to the charge that we do not care very much about these matters.”

Or look at community: the West’s expressive divorce culture doesn’t just sniff at fragile father-son bonds. In Growing Up with a Single Parent, Sara McLanahan (Princeton) and Gary Sandefur (Wisconsin – Madison) explain how “Divorce and separation also reduce children’s connections to their community. Just as strong parent-child relationships provide children with social capital, so do strong community connections.”

The children of divorce often feel like suitcases. Or chess pieces. And when they’re dragged from town to town, or neighbourhood to neighbourhood, “these ties are undermined and often destroyed.” More revealingly, the sociologists found that community connections were damaged even if the split families didn’t move. “Parents may disengage from their old friends after a divorce or separation, either because past memories are painful or because new associations are more attractive.” Again, kids are suitcase cases in an expressive divorce culture where adults come first.

Even Australia’s housing shortage crisis reveals unpalatable truths. While I applaud family-friendly libertarians for asking governments to open up land for development, my happiness is offset by adults-only libertarians living in a place called Denial. Do they know that our expressive divorce culture is fuelling Australia’s housing crisis? It seems so obvious – so unnecessary.

Of course, I’m with Jonah Goldberg who said, “Libertarianism means so many things to so many people that whatever you say about it, some libertarian somewhere will take offense.”   But that’s the problem isn’t it? Today’s ideologues are more committed to Stalinist-like definitions than fatherless boys with suitcases.

Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works are posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia).He also blogs for News Real, the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Of expressive divorces and stolen childhoods

Ben-Peter-Terpstra Ben-Peter Terpstra writes on the effect of expressive divorces on children and society.

No-fault divorces have (as predicted) scarred millions of children across the West. But don’t expect radical feminists and adults-only libertarians to say sorry. They’re never wrong. Or as Barbara Dafoe Whitehead put it in The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family, “A culture of divorce soothes children with antidepressants, consoles them with storybooks on divorce, and watches over their lives from family court.”

One serious problem: “Our contemporary secular thinking about marriage is a blend of psychotherapy and politics, and its language is one of rights and needs.”

In Australia, there is a reluctance to acknowledge the pain the children of divorce are carrying. And to suggest that conservatives are mean for promoting time-honoured intact families points to a culture of denial. As Jennifer Buckingham writes in Boy Troubles (The Centre for Independent Studies): “An intact family is a significant protective factor. Without it, there is a much greater chance that a child will be exposed to underlying risk factors that precipitate long-term offending. Australian statistics show that children living in a blended or step family, or a sole parent family, are up to ten times more likely to suffer child abuse or neglect than children living with both of their natural parents.”

Some divorces are necessary evils – but the majority are expressive in nature. It is interesting to note too that the adult children of divorce sound very different than the younger children of divorce. No-fault divorce is a legal concept,” maintains Judith Wallerstein in The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study. “It was never intended to mean no moral responsibility. Children never subscribe to the idea that no one is to blame for the divorce, although they are too protective of themselves and their parents to say so. As young children they blame themselves.”  

In the 1970s, marriage-hating feminists supported and even celebrated expressive divorce rights, but they didn’t count on the children of divorce to grow up and share their unedited stories. Certainly they didn’t expect crime statistics to point to a suspiciously high number of jails dominated by fatherless men. And, I doubt they expected statistics to show that divorced women are more prone to violence outside of marriage. But was this ever about liberation? Whitehead notes: “Society’s principal cheerleaders for expressive divorce have been its most economically advantaged and well-educated women, but only their message, and not their privilege has been transmitted to their working-class ‘sisters.’”

There are, of course, many divorced singles who are victims of expressive divorces too. While it does take two to tango, it only takes one to go feral. In an expressive divorce culture, we all lose.

Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works are posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia).He also blogs for News Real, the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Shared Parenting – although not perfect, is there a need to change it?

Alby-Schultz Alby Schultz MP argues that there are serious flaws with existing shared parenting arrangements.

The concept of shared parenting by separated or divorced couples was a basis for family law reforms in 2006.

Recently the Rudd Labor Government commissioned a series of reports on the shared parenting law introduced by the former Howard Government.

The report was ordered in response to the shocking death of four-year-old Melbourne girl Darcey Freeman, who was thrown to her death from the West Gate Bridge a year ago.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) report is by far the most comprehensive and scientific of the three reports presented on shared parenting. Its prevailing theme is that these reforms have generally worked well and have been well received. It does, however, detect substantial room for improvement in terms of dealing with family violence, which, given the dysfunctional status of the lives of some users of the system, will probably always exist. It does not suggest, though, there is any evidence that the reforms have exposed children to a greater risk of violence or other harm.

There are a number of findings as to the beneficial effects of the reforms including the significantly reduced number of filings in children’s matters, in particular, which should result in speedier and more dedicated access for the less tractable and more worrying cases.

Retired Family Court Judge, Professor Richard Chisholm, in his report entitled The Chisholm Report, appears to advance a certain agenda. His criticism of the ‘friendly parent’ provision for instance, is not identified with adverse outcomes by the AIFS report and is dismissed as mere ‘gossip’ by the Family Law Council.

While identifying the twin primary focuses of shared responsibility and family violence, he takes a firm position in favour of one specific gender. His recommendation is that family violence should be effectively presumed in all parenting cases before the Courts, which apart from introducing an unhealthy suggestiveness into the process; would undo much of the efficiency achieved by the 2006 reforms.

The most concerning aspect of the Family Law Council report is the recommendation to dramatically widen the definition of family violence.

In dealing with the particular issue which Professor Chisholm addressed – that is the incidents of violence – the AIFS found that “There is no evidence to suggest that family violence and highly conflictual inter-parental relationships are any greater in children with shared care time than for children with other care time arrangements.”

So, there seems to be something of a difference of emphasis, if not a conflict, between Professor Chisholm and the AIFS.

I am certainly of the view that the release of these reports should not be used by the Rudd Labor Government as a pretext or an excuse to walk away from the principle that every child has a right to a meaningful relationship with both parents on the occasion of family breakdown, while always maintaining, as has never been in doubt, the paramount interests of the child as the first consideration.

The Chisholm Report has also angered men’s rights groups, who believe that shared parenting works well for the majority of couples who enter into such an arrangement. That view is supported by the AIFS which found overwhelmingly that 80% of people surveyed (during the compilation of its report) said they supported shared parenting and 70% of couples who were in a shared parenting arrangement said it was working well.

I personally believe many instances of family upheaval resulting in violence against children which invariably in some cases ends up before the Courts, could be averted by a simple shake up in the child support system as administered by the Child Support Agency (CSA).

The overwhelming similarity in cases that are brought to my attention is that even though a separated couple have entered into a shared parenting agreement, there is no recognition of this fact by the CSA in calculating the maintenance that is to be payed by the paying parent.

This is evidenced by reports from paying parents that when their children visit with them, they regularly arrive with no clothes, other than those in which they arrive, and reports from the children to their father that they need these clothes for school or for sport. This triggers conflict and instability within the shared parenting agreement.

Is it not surprising then, why a father continually questions where his maintenance is going when it is plainly obvious that it is not being spent on what it is intended for and why, in some sensitive cases, the father becomes so disillusioned and distressed by the continual aggressive tactics employed by the CSA with respect to the collection of his child maintenance, that a tragedy sometimes occurs.

There is, therefore, an argument for how child maintenance is apportioned and I dare say that if the paying parent was able to direct and observe through CSA administration, a certain percentage of their payment go into a trust account specifically designed to ensure child maintenance is used for the daily and future care of the child, these extreme cases may reduce.

I hasten to add that it may also result in a significant reduction in instances of paying parents refusing to honour child maintenance payments, thereby taking much of the tension out of shared parenting.

Alby Schultz MP is the Federal Liberal Member for Hume.