Legislation to encourage surrogacy in South Australia was today passed by the House of Assembly clearing its way to becoming the law of the State.
The Family Relationships (Surrogacy) Amendment Bill 2014 will improve access to surrogacy by creating a surrogacy register, establishing a framework for advertising for surrogates, and increasing the availability of counselling for surrogates and their partners.
Liberal MLC John Dawkins, who was responsible for the Private Members Bill and has been working on the reforms for the past nine months, is pleased the Bill has now passed the House of Assembly and will shortly, become law. The Bill was sponsored in the Lower House, by Liberal MP for Morialta John Gardner.
“I’m thrilled that this legislation was supported by Parliamentary colleagues from all political parties and that access for South Australians to surrogacy will now be made just that much easier,” said Mr Dawkins.
The new Surrogacy laws will:
Create a ‘surrogacy register’ which will enable individuals willing to become surrogates to place their name on a list which can be provided to prospective parents, making it easier for both parties to connect;
Establish a state framework for the advertising of surrogates, conduct of those involved in the organisation of surrogacy agreements and a criteria for approved international surrogacy agreements;
Make counselling for surrogates and their partners (whether that relationship is characterised as marital, de facto or domestic in nature) both before the pregnancy and after the birth, available at no cost to them; and,
Expand the ‘out of pocket’ expenses that surrogate mothers may be reimbursed for in their fulfilment of the agreement.
“Time and time again I have been told by parents that the inability to find a willing surrogate is driving them overseas. Now that this Bill has passed, it is my hope that it will encourage and enable couples seeking to have a child through this method, to have it here at home,” said Mr Dawkins.
“The establishment of a new ‘surrogacy register’ will help making the connection between surrogates and intending parents a reality for many, who up until this point, could not find a willing surrogate mother.
“This new law will also implement a range of new measures that will make surrogacy more accessible and attractive for potential surrogate mothers by increasing the financial and psychological assistance available throughout the entire surrogacy process,” said Mr Dawkins.