A national inquiry into surrogacy has been called for after news that another surrogate baby was abandoned by Australian parents in Asia.
The abandonment of another surrogate baby in Asia has sparked calls for a national inquiry into the practice.
Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant says a surrogate mother gave birth to twins in India in 2012 but their Australian parents only took one home.
The commissioning parents, who had gone through an agency, did not want to take both babies.
“They already had one sex and they didn’t want the other child. I don’t know whether it was a boy or a girl,” Chief Justice Bryant told the ABC.
Consular staff at Australia’s High Commission in New Delhi delayed giving the Australian parents a visa while they tried to convince them to take both children home, she said.
“In the meantime, they were getting pressure from Australia to grant the visa,” she said.
The ABC says sources have told them there was concern a senior federal politician had been advocating on behalf of the Australian parents.
However, Chief Justice Bryant says she does not know where the pressure came from.
“There definitely was some pressure being placed to expedite the process to ensure they could return to Australia. That’s what I have been told,” she said.
Consular officials told her the abandoned child was passed to another family.
“But they expressed to me their great concern that in fact money had changed hands,” she said.
“If that’s true, that’s basically trafficking children.”
Federal Circuit Court Chief Judge John Pascoe has called for a national inquiry into surrogacy.
He told the ABC that the Family Court and Federal Court had been left to deal with a process that did not have appropriate legislation in place.
“I am really concerned that this issue has not received the attention it properly deserves,” he said.
Comment was being sought from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.