Surrogacy in Australia is experiencing a quiet boom, after yet another South-East Asian nation cracked down on the practice.
Last November Cambodia announced a ban on commercial surrogacy, and arrested an Australian nurse who was running a surrogacy clinic in Phnom Penh. Around ten Australian couples are currently stranded in the capital as the government drafts new legislation to regulate the practice.
Meanwhile in Australia, there has been a significant increase in the number of couples looking for surrogates, according to IVF experts.
Dr Glenn Stirling, the medical director of Brisbane IVF clinic Life Fertility, told the ABC that the number of patients they see has risen dramatically, and that new patients arrive almost daily.
"We'd be doing at least, two or three couples a week that are doing surrogacy," he said.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, yet reports suggest that in some cases surrogates are secretly remunerated. Payments can be close to $30,000, according to an ABC report.
“It's a very much do-it-yourself model in Australia in terms of finding a surrogate and managing the journey,” said Sam Everingham from the international advocacy and support group Families Through Surrogacy.
"There's lots of hush-hush around finding a surrogate. It's a really tough thing to manage and pull all the pieces together for a couple who just wants to have a family."
We’ve often blamed the pharmaceutical industry for medicalising the normal ups and downs of life. But journalists are not above disease-mongering. I’ve just noticed a promising new ailment to which members of the Fourth Estate themselves are particularly susceptible: post-election stress disorder.
According to columnist in Psychology Today, “Countless Americans are reporting feeling triggered, traumatized, on edge, anxious, sleepless, angry, hopeless, avoidant of connection, alone, and suddenly haunted by past traumas they believed they had buried” because of the Trump election.
As of now, no pharmaceutical company is marketing a drug to cure these anxieties. Instead, therapists are recommending a range of behavioural strategies for dealing with the stress. “I advise my clients and friends affected by the election and its aftermath to reach out, connect, affiliate and show compassion for those similarly affected,” wrote Steven Stosny in the Washington Post.
Some people are indignant that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after battle is being compared to discouragement after an election loss. Republican Congressman Brian Mast lost both legs in Iraq because of a roadside bomb. Let him have the last word:
There was a big missed opportunity in naming it ‘Post-Election Stress Disorder,'” he says. “I would have preferred they name it ‘Post-Inauguration Stress Disorder,’ that way they could have called it ‘PISD.’ There’s a big difference between being pissed off about things and what happens on the battlefield.”
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