The Surrogacy Bill 2019 passed both houses on 31 October 2019. So now that the bill has passed what do you need to know?
The Surrogacy Bill 2019 passed both houses on 31 October 2019. So now that the Bill has been passed what do you need to know?
First, the Bill is yet to receive a commencement date so while it has been passed in both houses, it is not yet law.
The Bill has the same primary consideration that the Family Law Act 1975 has; which is the Interests of the Children are Paramount. This simply means that a Court dealing with these matters must consider what is in the Best Interest of the Children when making a decision.
The Bill sets out the principles regarding Surrogacy and confirming the human rights of the parties must be respected. Additionally, the Surrogate Mother under a lawful surrogacy agreement should not be financially disadvantaged as a result of her involvement in the lawful surrogacy agreement.
So who can be a surrogate mother?
Section 10 of the Bill provides that the surrogate mother:
- must be 25 years of age or older;
- not have impaired decision-making capacity;
- must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia;
- must not be pregnant at the time of entering into a lawful surrogacy agreement;
- must undergo counselling prior to entering into a lawful surrogacy agreement;
- must provide a criminal history report to the intended parent(s);
- must comply with any other requirement set out in the regulations.
There are also requirements as to who can be an intended parent. These requirements are similar to the requirements for who can be a surrogate mother with the addition of a set of circumstances which must be present for intended parents.
The Bill also discusses the costs of the surrogacy, the counselling requirements of the parties and offences relating to surrogacy agreements.
The Surrogacy Bill removes the previous restrictions on single and same sex parents which required them to contribute their own genetic material.
If you are looking to enter into a surrogacy agreement, we recommend obtaining legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that the agreement you are entering into falls under the scope of a lawful surrogacy agreement. Contact our office on 8523 8400 to make an appointment with one of our friendly family lawyers.