Halifax, Nova Scotia - Officials of the Department of Public Welfare have expressed thanks to the Anglican Church of Canada for its cooperation in a recent campaign to increase adoptions throughout the province.
There were 46 inquiries from married couples to the provincial coordinator for adoption services following the month-long campaign, according to a statement received by the church's social service department.
It is the first example of co-operation between the Anglican Church and provincial authorities in the adoption field. Church organized officials say they hope such a campaign might also be organized in other provinces.
Anglican clergy were asked by Rt. Rev. W.W. Davis, Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia, to preach on adoption, or conduct a discussion in their churches and to circulate an adoption brochure produced by several denominations.
At present, 21 of the couples that made inquiries have completed or are in the process of completing their adoption.
Toronto, May 2, 1989 -- The practice of surrogate motherhood is offensive and unacceptable because it turns children into "commodities", an Anglican Church task force says. The report takes issue with a recent Ontario Law Reform Commission report which recommended procedures to regularize the practice.
Task force members will present their report at a news conference Tuesday, May 2 at 9:30 a.m. at 135 Adelaide Street East (Anglican Diocese of Toronto).
In surrogate motherhood, when a husband and wife cannot have children naturally, the husband may hire the services of another woman. This so-called "surrogate" mother is then artificially inseminated with the husband's sperm.
"Human beings must be treated as ends, not means," says the task force report. "The humanity of women must not be subordinated to their reproductive capacities. Nor may children be deliberately created for sale. These two grave ethical flaws are inherent in surrogate motherhood. The buying and selling of human beings, for whatever purpose, incorporates the evil present in slavery and is just as offensive."
The report recommends that contracts for surrogate motherhood be unenforceable in Canada and that provincial laws governing adoption be reviewed to ensure that adoption procedures cannot be abused to bring about surrogate motherhood arrangements. "If provincial adoption laws cannot ensure that surrogacy is banned in Canada," the report says, "we recommend that federal legislation be enacted making it a criminal offence to recommend, initiate, arrange or agree to the bearing of a child in a surrogacy arrangement for payment in cash or in kind." The several recommendations in the report will be presented for discussion in June to the General Synod, the church's highest legislative body.
The task force was authorized in May 1987 by the church's national executive council. Its members include: Rt. Rev. John Baycroft, Suffragan Bishop of Ottawa; the Rev. Bruce Alton, Trinity College; Phyllis Creighton, editor, University of Toronto Press; Marsha Hewitt, professor, Trinity College; and the Rev. Don Thompson, professor, Centre for Christian Studies.
- 30 -
For further information, contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Communications, (416) 925-9192 ext. 286 (bus.), (416) 335-8349 (res.)