SA’s surrogacy laws to start in September
South Australia’s new surrogacy laws are to start from 1 September. Yesterday the South Australian Governor signed a proclamation stating that the Surrogacy Act 2019 (SA) is due to commence on 1 September. All of the Act is to start that day, except for the donor registry provisions, which are to start on a date to be advised.
The changes in South Australia make it easier to undergo surrogacy, and include:
- the ability for the first time for singles in SA to undertake surrogacy. (Previously they either put it off, or went interstate or overseas.) I was glad that finally there is to be an end to this discrimination in South Australia. This was a change that I had sought. I had hoped that this discrimination would have been removed when the South Australian Parliament removed discrimination against same sex couples back in 2017- but it was not to be for singles at the time. The then Weatherill government did not have the numbers in the Upper House, so singles were again passed over. This time around, finally, they have been allowed to undertake surrogacy in South Australia. HOORAY!
- the ability to choose their IVF clinic. In the past South Australian intended parents were restricted to choosing an IVF clinic in South Australia. I specifically asked to allow South Australians to be able to choose an Australian clinic of their choice. This was listened to! Now South Australian intended parents can choose where they want to do IVF, whether with a South Australian IVF clinic or an IVF clinic elsewhere.
- the recognition of the bodily autonomy of surrogates. Surrogates will have the clear right to control their pregnancy and child birth- like any other woman. I sought that this provision be included. I was especially proud that South Australia has legislated for this. This provision started in the Queensland Surrogacy Act, and has been copied in the Tasmanian Surrogacy Act. It spells it out- clearly. Surrogates who have been clients of mine have appreciated that that they have control over their bodies.
-the human rights of all involved are recognised. This was another provision I sought. I was concerned that the human rights of the partner of the surrogate, as well as that of the intended parents and especially that of the child be specifically recognised in legislation. This has now happened for the first time, anywhere in Australia.
The Surrogacy Act 2019 (SA) replaces provisions of the Family Relationships Act 1975 (SA) that covered surrogacy, so that SA has, for the first time, comprehensive laws about surrogacy in the one Act of Parliament.