Public comment now open on surrogacy reforms

The Marshall Liberal Government is calling for members of the public to have their say on proposed surrogacy reforms, in response to a new report highlighting a range of areas for reform.

The South Australian Law Reform Institute today released its report in to the State’s surrogacy laws, making 69 recommendations aimed at addressing issues with the existing laws and making further suggestions for change for Government consideration.

The Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman MP said the Government will table a draft Bill in State Parliament today that will be open for public comment, through YourSAy until February, giving all South Australians the opportunity to have their say on the reforms.

“This is an area that, as a government, we are committed to improving, and the SALRI report has provided a range of recommendations about reforming our laws to provide a better system for those people wishing to use a surrogate to have a child,” Ms Chapman said.

“South Australians now have the chance to make sure their voice can be heard on what is clearly a complex issue that is close to the heart of many.”

Ms Chapman said the SALRI report highlighted the many ethical, legal and complex issues associated with surrogacy, containing recommendations in relation to having a standalone Surrogacy Act, prioritising the welfare of the child, appropriate counselling and legal advice, ensuring all direct costs associated with the surrogacy agreement are recoverable, and making surrogacy accessible to single people.

“This comprehensive report is the culmination of nearly 12 months’ work by the law reform institute, involving wide research and extensive consultation with stakeholders from the legal sector, the religious community, surrogacy advocates and those who have had firsthand experience with the system,” Ms Chapman said.

“I have no doubt the draft Bill we have released today will draw strong and conflicting views as part of the consultation we are undertaking.

“But I would encourage people to put their thoughts forward so that we can carefully consider the range of views and achieve a suitable way forward for the South Australian families it impacts.

Feedback received will be used to inform the development of the new legislation.

“The draft Bill that is now out for consultation remains a work in progress, and I expect we will receive feedback around both policy and other matters related to this through the consultation process,” Ms Chapman said.

“I would also like to thank the Honourable John Dawkins MLC, whose longstanding and passionate advocacy in this area led to the Law Reform Institute Report, and the action we will be taking in response.”

To read the SALRI report and draft Bill or to make a submission, visit: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/decisions/draft-surrogacy-bill-2018/about