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WA quick to review surrogacy after same-sex marriage

Surrogacy is always an emotive subject. Being childless is, for many couples, a very painful road to travel.  Surrogacy if often held up as the “solution”.

WA passed its first surrogacy laws in 2008 which did not allow for commercial surrogacy. This is in line with the National Health & Medical Research Council guidelines.

But the push is on in WA to undermine the rights of the children in surrogacy law, by allowing, for example, same sex couples to procure children.

In mid-January the WA government announced that an independent review of the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and the Surrogacy Act 2008 would be undertaken by Associate Professor Sonia Allan. In early March, the ACL addressed the Review. In addition, it wrote a submission.

Prof Allan is expected to hand down recommendations by mid-year with the Government expected to introduce legislation in early 2019.

Prof Allan is holding community consultation meetings in Perth on 13 & 14 April, and in Bunbury on 16 April.  The ACL encourages people to attend these.   

In its submission, the ACL made it clear that commercial surrogacy would effectively create an environment where “wombs are for hire” and “children are for sale”.

The ACL submission included the following recommendations:

Another issue addressed by the review were in regards to mitochondrial donation which enables the creation of a child with three genetic parents. The ovum of one woman, where there is a risk of genetic disorders along the matrilineal line may be spliced with material from the ovum of a second woman who does not carry the genetic disease. This may also lead to the creation of designer babies or the method may be used by lesbians who wish the child to have genetic material from both women.

The ACL recommended that:

The submission made additional recommendations that a child born of artificial reproductive technologies ought to have the right to access information about all genetic donors including the surrogate mother.

Read ACL’s submission here.


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