Hsc Legal Studies Family Essay

1114 Words Sep 23rd, 2012 5 Pages
“Society moves ahead and the law limps behind”
Discuss this referring to contemporary issues in family

Society’s opinions are constantly, and rapidly changing, and consequently this poses significant challenges to the family law system in Australia. A family is a social unit containing individuals related by blood, marriage or other legally recognised relationships. Family law reforms have been implemented over the past three decades, entailing the recognition of same sex couples. Furthermore, a statutory presumption of shared parenting – as instigated by society’s transitioning values – displays the changing nature of parental responsibility. Not only are society’s views progressing, but surrogacy and birth technologies are
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Thus, the act can be unenforceable at times, as seen in the article, “Not so equal when it comes to super” (Star Observer, Lamont, Ani, 2008) That said, the act enables the protection of individuals’ rights to be free of discrimination on the basis of sexual preferences. Furthermore, it meets society’s needs to see equality amongst same sex relationships, which is evident in a survey concluding 72% of Sydney residents are in favour of gay marriage.

Law reform is considered proactive with relation to surrogacy and birth technologies, as methods of conception must be permitted before they are conducted. Surrogacy, which occurs when one woman agrees to fall pregnant and bear a child for a couple, is illegal in NSW when the woman is paid a fee or award, under the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007 (NSW). Hence, surrogacy must be altruistic. Furthermore, the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) now criminalises an international journey for commercial surrogacy.

This suggests the law is successful in meeting society’s needs for children not to be perceived as, “commodities.” However, this logic is disputed; why would one pay for a “commodity,” which will reap no financial gain? The only reason seems to be the personal reward of bonding with a child. Thus, the legislation can spawn

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