Queensland surrogacy bills- the debate is on

Queensland surrogacy bills- the debate is on

It is often said that Queensland is different. Sometimes this is clearly apparent, as it is with the debate about surrogacy. There are two bills before the Queensland Parliament- the Goverment and Opposition bills.

There is little between them:

  • both decriminalise altruistic surrogacy (although there are differences in coverage)
  • both then regulate altruistic surrogacy, including with substitute parent orders
  • both continue to criminalise commercial surrogacy, including Queensland residents going anywhere else in the world for commercial surrogacy

but there are these differences:

  • the Government bill covers everyone: married, single, de factos and same sex
  • the Opposition Bill covers only married couples and heterosexual de factos who have been together for 2 years
  • the Government bill recognises lesbian co-parents on birth certificates, but the Opposition bill does not
  • the Government bill is due to start on a date to be proclaimed, but the Opposition bill is to start on 1 April.

The debate on both bills will happen together tomorrow night.

In Victoria and WA recently there was bipartisan support for extended coverage of the surrogacy changes. Not in Queensland. The support in WA extended through the last state election, when the government changed sides, but the wide coverage surrogacy laws kept going until they were passed by Parliament.

Today I was interviewed by Michael Smith on 4BC about the Government’s bill. I spoke after Jim Wallace from the Australian Christian Lobby, who spoke strongly that homosexual people and single people should not be included.

It was suggested to me that the bill will enable people to have children on order. This is not the case. The bills will only allow the decriminalisation and regulation of altruistic surrogacy. Both sides of politics accept that this should happen. Altruistic surrogacy, by relying on a friend or family member to act as a surrogate, and there being extensive counselling and other checks and balances,  means very clearly that babies are not “on order”. Both bills continue to criminalise commercial surrogacy.

It was also suggested that with some deft paperwork the baby will quickly change identity. This is not correct. The intended parents will have to apply to court. The court will have a series of factors to consider before making the order. The test which the court will be required to apply is similar to those in Victoria and the ACT, for example.

Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Embracing Wellness in Your Daily Routine for Fertility

American guest author Ashley Taylor has written an interest article about having a holistic approach to maintaining your health and addressing fertility issues: In the journey toward maintaining your health and addressing fertility issues, embracing a holistic approach is key. Wellness is more than just a goal; it’s a sustainable lifestyle that intertwines various aspects… Read More »Embracing Wellness in Your Daily Routine for Fertility

Consultation open: Queensland Assisted reproductive technology industry

The Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technology Services Consultation Paper is now available and open for feedback until 25 February 2024. This follows the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women’s commitment to regulate the assisted reproductive technology (ART) industry in Queensland by 2024. The paper is designed to help inform considerations for regulating… Read More »Consultation open: Queensland Assisted reproductive technology industry

Honouring Excellence in the Legal Profession: Queensland Law Society President’s Medal

The Queensland Law Society (QLS) President’s Medal holds significant prestige within the legal profession as it recognises exceptional solicitors who have made remarkable contributions to their field and the community. Last year, the Director of Page Provan, Stephen Page, was bestowed with this esteemed award, which is carefully judged on service to the community, legal… Read More »Honouring Excellence in the Legal Profession: Queensland Law Society President’s Medal

Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board