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Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation (Renate Klein, Spinifex)

Renate Klein’s book on surrogacy is intended to be a feminist work focusing on the rights of the surrogate, donor and child. Klein sets out her oppositions to the practice by describing the medical processes involved; what donors, surrogates and children undergo; the side effects; and the legal safeguards that do and do not exist. She describes how overseas surrogacy has harmed people, and follows this up with a description of Australia’s current stance on surrogacy, concluding that it could never be an ethical practice. The book’s tone and language is deliberately direct. Klein argues that a donor or surrogate could never make a proper choice if pressured emotionally and financially, and states that people who feel a right and entitlement to a child will treat surrogacy as a commercial transaction with no regard for the surrogate’s wellbeing. She discusses opposing views but does not feel there is a case where no harm has occurred. Klein also refers to her opinions on sex work and, very briefly, the LGBTQIA community, which feels like an unnecessarily detraction. This is still, however, an important book that provides a much-needed opposing view on surrogacy.

Marisa Wikramanayake is a writer, editor and journalist


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