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