I am a lesbian. In my political activism over more than forty years I have repeatedly spoken out against homophobia as well as fighting against misogyny, ableism, racism and classism among other oppressions. Today, in my talk, I am going to criticise gay men who engage women to be surrogates so that they can fulfil their ‘desire’ for children. My criticism is for anyone – straight or gay – who acquires children through surrogacy.
Surrogacy is an industry in which we are creating a new stolen generation with consequences of transgenerational trauma as we have seen in the Bringing Them Home Report (1997) and Julia Gillard’s National Apology for Forced Adoptions (2013). But this time it is inherently a part of the industry. The baby is conceived in order to be taken away at birth. As Renate Klein points out in Surrogacy, pets are better treated and puppies and kittens are usually not removed from their mothers until 6 to 8 weeks old (I am not recommending this, simply pointing it out).
Gay men in these days of equal marriage laws are perceived by the mainstream as a progressive force. And some gay men do behave as a progressive force. However, there is a distinct class of wealthy mobile gay men who are promoting surrogacy as a new freedom for gay men. But there is nothing progressive about exploiting women on the basis of poverty, ethnicity, disability or sex. There is no place for an industry based on misogyny, racism, classism and ableism.