Do you have a comment about the draft Surrogacy Bill 2018?

Hello and welcome to the discussion forum on the draft Surrogacy Bill 2018. Are there any particular parts of the Bill you would like to comment on?

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Cliff Robinson

14 Feb 2019

I believe the way some of this is worded leaves out single men or gay male couples from surrogacy in this draft.

The wording in (iv) states an intended parent must be ‘unlikely’ to get pregnant due to gender identity, sexuality or any other reason.
As a male, it’s not ‘unlikely’ I’d get pregnant, it’s just not possible. This leaves this section too open to interpretation, as it still appears to be geared towards women unable to conceive without reproductive assistance.

Joanna Banks

14 Feb 2019

I agree with matt Carter, I believe that single men and gay Male couples should be able to have the right to enter the surrogacy arrangement. Males can be better parents in this world than some mothers. Give them a chance to be able to raise their own family.

Matt Carter

13 Feb 2019

Section 8, Part 4(f)(i)
This sub section restricts surrogacy to heterosexual couples, single females and lesbian couples. Stating that at least 1 of the intended parents must be female explicitly excludes single men and gay male couples from entering a surrogacy arrangement. This perpetrates an assumption that only women are fit to be parents and discriminates against single and same-sex attracted males. Considering the changes made by SA Government in creating greater equality in our Adoption laws, this is a serious misstep.

Government Agency

Strategic Communications-Attorney-General's Dept > Matt Carter

14 Feb 2019

Thank you for your thoughts about this Matt.

Your comments will be taken into consideration for producing the new Bill.

Benjamin Wollinski

11 Feb 2019

Under Section 7 1(b) - It states The surrogate mother should not be financially disadvantaged. But under S9 (1), there is no mention of reasonable costs for the inability or reduced capacity of the surrogate mother to work. The reduced capacity to work should be compensated for as a work supplement. This will provide any lost time due to medical appointments, physical and mental ability should be fairly included into an income supplement paid by the Intended Parents.

S8 (3) states the surrogate mother must be at least 25 years of age. If an adult woman is of legal age, she should have the rights over her own body to decide for herself. The surrogate is further tested with medical and counselling screening to ensure the surrogate is suitable. The age of a surrogate should be up to the individual adult. The minimum age should be removed.

S8 4(a) states the age of intended parents must be at least 25 years of age. Why is it a requirement that a family can only be established after this age? It should be an individuals right to plan and start a family, even if they are under 25 years. The Intended Parents are further tested with counselling before being issued a certificate for a lawful surrogacy agreement. The minimum age should be removed.

S8 4(d) It should not matter what state you live in to access medical treatment. If you are Australian, you should be able to access treatment anywhere in Australia. Why is it that the Bill tries to remove medical treatment and equality to all Australians? The Bill can still regulated surrogacy in the state and allow people from interstate to access treatment under state law.

S8 4(f)(i) This sub clause restricts gay males from being fathers. Stating that at least 1 of the intended parents is a female person. If S8 4(f)(iv) is intended to allow same sex people the opportunity to have a surrogate, it is not written clearly. Same sex couples should have the rights to have families and be parents.

S12 - There is no mention about the rights of intended parents or surrogates to terminate the pregnancy should complications or defects arise. And the rights of both parties on termination.

S13 (1) appears to give rights to the surrogate mother to be able to terminate the child or refuse to terminate a child at discretion. It is unclear the rights of the intended parents should there be a disagreement with the surrogate. If the intended parents wish to terminate and the surrogate wish to keep the child, the surrogate must become the primary care giver with the surrogacy agreement terminated. Should a child be terminated, the surrogate must be taken care of with the surrogacy agreement upheld.

S25 - A suggestion would to be to list who the primary caregivers will be, to give rights to both the intended parents to the child and remove any requirements/need to adopt for legal rights.

Additional Comments:
I am in support of financial gain by the surrogate. The time and sacrifices by the surrogate to give the gift of life for a family is special and takes a lot of effort. Gratitude should be able to be given and not be against the law.

If commercial surrogacy is not supported, a not for profit organisation needs to exist to help intended parents to find a surrogate, supported by government. The restriction of not being able to advertise and find a surrogate is a big problem to intending parents. If there is not an organisation that can attract surrogates for intended parents, surrogates will continue to be used overseas. Organisations and intended parents should have the rights to freely advertise for surrogates.

People that require a surrogate already have higher costs to start a family. Surrogates should have the same access to bulk billed IVF treatment as normal couples. This includes allowing same sex couples to access, with a surrogate, bulk billed IVF treatments.

Government Agency

Strategic Communications-Attorney-General's Dept > Benjamin Wollinski

14 Feb 2019

Thanks for your considerable input Benjamin.

We value hearing your ideas.

The government is committed to modernising the current laws and will use your comments to help shape new legislation.

Peter Murray

29 Nov 2018

I agree with the issue of birth mother verse surrogate mother.
I think the bill should be passed with minimal amendment.

Government Agency

Strategic Communications, Attorney-General's Department > Peter Murray

03 Dec 2018

Thanks for your feedback Peter. Your comments will be used to inform the new Bill.

Belinda H

21 Nov 2018

Could you please clarify the meaning of 'birth mother'? In many States, the meaning of birth mother is that of the biological mother i.e., the contributor of genetic material. It is not the same as surrogate or surrogate mother.
This appears to be a hang over from Adoption that does not travel well. The surrogate, whilst giving birth, is not a genetic contributor and therefore, not the birth mother. Please do not confuse the language across the spectrum. (s25 as an example).
Further regarding s25(d), why would a new born have a prior known name that needs to be altered? There should be no name and the child should be subjected to the same 60 day application of name rules as any other child. The surrogate's name should not attach to the child and she should have no right to apply any name whatsoever without a Court order.

Government Agency

Strategic Communications, Attorney-General's Department > Belinda H

26 Nov 2018

Thanks for your comments Belinda.

We appreciate hearing from people about all aspects of the draft Bill.

The government is committed to laws that best meet the needs of South Australian families and your comments will be used to inform the new Bill.