Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 477–490 | Cite as

Rethinking “Commercial” Surrogacy in Australia

  • Jenni MillbankEmail author
Original Research


This article proposes reconsideration of laws prohibiting paid surrogacy in Australia in light of increasing transnational commercial surrogacy. The social science evidence base concerning domestic surrogacy in developed economies demonstrates that payment alone cannot be used to differentiate “good” surrogacy arrangements from “bad” ones. Compensated domestic surrogacy and the introduction of professional intermediaries and mechanisms such as advertising are proposed as a feasible harm-minimisation approach. I contend that Australia can learn from commercial surrogacy practices elsewhere, without replicating them.


Surrogate mothers Infertility Reproductive medicine 



Thanks to Michaela Stockey-Bridge, Anita Stuhmcke, and the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry’s reviewers for their thoughtful comments and Emma Butler for research assistance.


This research was supported by Discovery Project Grant 0986213 from the Australian Research Council and funding from UTS: Law.


There are no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia

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