Surrogacy South Australia – Law Reform Update, June 2020

South Australia has reviewed its surrogacy laws and now enacted the Surrogacy Act 2019. The Act comes into effect from 1 September 2020.

This is the first time that South Australia will have stand-alone surrogacy legislation, and there are a few highlights. I am pleased that feedback from the community and professionals is reflected in the proposed law reform.

What does the Bill include?

Surrogacy processes will be similar to the current process – the parties will need to undergo counselling and obtain legal advice, and enter into a written agreement. But things that will change include:

  • The surrogate will need to by over 25 years of age. The previous requirement was that she be over 18. Intended parents will also need to be over 25.
  • The surrogate will need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia. People occasionally ask if they can have a surrogate from overseas – the Bill makes it clear that she must be in Australia with citizenship or permanent residency.
  • The surrogate will be able to be reimbursed for lost income – the previous legislation did not allow for this.
  • Single intended parents will be permitted to pursue surrogacy in South Australia. Previous legislation required the intended parents to be a couple.
  • Advertising for a surrogate, or to be a surrogate, is permitted, as long as it is not ‘for valuable consideration’ – this means it cannot be a commercial arrangement. Advertising for an altruistic surrogate is permissible.
  • The parties can seek IVF treatment outside of South Australia. Previously, the treatment must have occurred within South Australia to qualify for a Parentage Order after the birth.
  • The surrogacy lawyer instructed by either party can be outside of South Australia and does not need to hold a South Australian practising certificate.
  • An amendment in the House means that the parties are expected to provide each other with a criminal history report provided by South Australia Police, or the Australian Crime Commission or an Australian Crime Commission accredited agency or broker, within the 12 months prior to entering a lawful surrogacy agreement. This amendment was hotly debated but eventually agreed to in the House.

You can read more about South Australian surrogacy laws here, and listen to Simone’s story on the Podcast.

Sarah practices surrogacy law across Australia, including for intended parents in South Australia. You can book in for a consult with Sarah below. All consults are conducted via Zoom and evening appointments are available.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I advocate for positive, best practice surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.