Uniform Surrogacy Laws? Yes please!

The Council of Attorneys General met today in Adelaide for their regular bi-annual meeting. The Council is made up of the State Attorneys General and the Federal Attorney General, and they talk about all the things that come under their portfolios – including law reform, particularly in the area of family law. So, generally speaking, it is the Attorney General in your State that has the conduct of the surrogacy laws portfolio.

After the Council meeting, they release a Communique, which is a summary of the things they discussed and agreed upon.

In this month’s meeting, the CAG determined Options to Improve Consistency between Jurisdictions on Surrogacy Regulation, including that:

Participants recognise the important issues raised in the Surrogacy Matters report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry into the regulatory and legislative aspects of domestic and international surrogacy arrangements. Participants agreed to  Terms of Reference to establish a Working Group on Surrogacy to advise the Council on opportunities for attaining greater national consistency in legal and policy frameworks regulating surrogacy in Australia.

You can read the full Communique here.

Whilst the Communique is a positive move in the right direction, it remains to be seen whether the States will implement the law reform required to make surrogacy laws uniform across Australia. In the meantime, we can only watch this space to see what comes of the Working Group.

You can read more about your State’s surrogacy laws here. There were recent reforms in South Australia, and reforms expected in Victoria, Western Australia and hopefully the Northern Territory soon.

If you are interested in speaking to me about the laws, you can contact me here.

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.

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