Surrogacy now possible for more families

Surrogacy will now be an option for more people looking to start a family in South Australia. 

The Surrogacy Bill 2019 passed State Parliament this week, which, when it commences, will make it easier for people looking to have a family through surrogacy to be able to do so, removing a previous restriction on single parents and removing the default rule that couples must contribute their own genetic material.

 “Each year there are South Australians turning to surrogacy to have a child, often as a last resort because they have tried and failed in other ways,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

“Some may have looked at overseas surrogacy options because they have failed to meet restrictive criteria here, but I don’t believe that anyone should be denied the opportunity to start their own family because of their sexuality or relationship status.

“These reforms respect the rights of the child, prospective parents and surrogates and provide safeguards to protect all parties.

“Importantly, commercial surrogacy agreements where a surrogate receives more money than what is needed to compensate them for the cost of having the baby, remain unlawful.”

A surrogate mother and the intending parents must undergo counselling before entering a surrogacy agreement, commercial surrogacy services cannot be advertised and it is unlawful to induce another to enter a surrogacy by threat of harm, dishonesty or undue influence.

Reforms include:

  • raising the age to 25 or older for those entering a surrogacy agreement;
  • allowing surrogacy arrangements where neither intending parent provides genetic material without requiring invasive infertility certification;
  • making clear provisions for compensating surrogates for loss of income;
  • providing less complex fertility requirements to more clearly include gay male couples and to extend eligibility to single parents for the first time

Under previous South Australian law, surrogacy was only permitted for parents who were legally married, in a registered relationship or who had lived together for three years as a couple.

The Bill was developed in response to recommendations made in an independent review of the state’s surrogacy laws by the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) and amended in response to consultation with stakeholders and the general community.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Hon John Dawkins MLC, who has worked tirelessly on this issue for over a decade,’ Ms Chapman concluded.