Surrogacy South Australia – Law Reform Update, August 2019

South Australia has reviewed its surrogacy laws and now drafted a new Surrogacy Bill – you can read the full Bill here. This is the first time that South Australia will have a 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 current requirement is 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 PR.
  • The surrogate will be able to be reimbursed for lost income – the current legislation does not allow for this.
  • Single intended parents will be permitted to pursue surrogacy in South Australia. Current legislation requires 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. Currently the treatment must occur 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.

What’s next?

The Bill has been introduced to the House of Assembly and will proceed over the coming months. Watch this space.

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

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.