Mum fears surrogacy will get a bad name

A Perth mother who had her son by a Thai surrogate has told of her fears that the story of baby Gammy will give surrogacy a bad name.

Chatarina Brady's son Felix was born in Bangkok in March last year after she and her husband Andrew hired a surrogate through an agency.

Mrs Brady said their surrogacy experience was positive and easier than they expected.

But she urged the State and Federal governments to make it easier for people to have babies through surrogates in Australia, by covering some medical costs on Medicare and allowing intended parents to pay surrogates a small amount.

"It's giving surrogacy a really bad reputation, which is such a shame," she said.

"For us, it was fairly easy and smooth sailing. I think more people would do it in Australia if it became a little bit easer."

Mrs Brady, who had a second child herself four weeks ago after conceiving through IVF, said she used an agency that was recommended to her by another Australian couple who had a baby with a surrogate mother.

She said she, her husband and the Thai surrogate signed a long contract before the surrogacy went ahead and they paid about $30,000 to the agency.

"The clinic will then forward the contract and scan results on to the agent and the agent will then forward that on to the intended parents," she said. "If you have any questions about scan results or anything, then you will email the agent and the agent will answer all your questions."

Mrs Brady said there was a clause in their contract that stated that in the event of a chromosomal abnormality being determined, the surrogate was to permit the termination of the pregnancy at the request of the parents.

She said their surrogate was initially carrying twins but one of the babies died early in the pregnancy.

After her success with surrogacy, Mrs Brady became the WA representative for support group Surrogacy Australia.

Several hundred Australian couples travel overseas, mainly to Thailand, India and the US, every year to use a surrogate to carry their baby.

The West Australian

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