ACT Removes Barriers To Altruistic Surrogacy

More Canberrans, including those experiencing infertility and single people, can now pursue parenthood through altruistic surrogacy.

Today the ACT Government passed the Parentage (Surrogacy) Amendment Bill 2023, marking a significant milestone in the advancement of reproductive rights and better aligning the Territory’s surrogacy laws with other Australian jurisdictions.

The Bill includes several key amendments designed to enhance access to altruistic surrogacy and provide strengthened human rights protections for intended parents, surrogates and children born through surrogacy.

Once the Bill is notified, there will no longer be a requirement that there be two intended parents to enter into a surrogacy arrangement. This allows single people in the ACT to consider surrogacy as pathway to parenthood. There will also no longer be a requirement for any intended parents to have a genetic connection with the child.

The changes remove the requirements that one intended parent be a genetic parent of the child and allow for traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate themselves is the genetic parent of the child.

This means that couples where both parties may experience infertility will be able to use surrogacy arrangements; that the egg and sperm can both come from donors; and there will be flexibility for an altruistic surrogate to conceive a child using their own egg.

This increases options, especially for people experiencing infertility.

In addition to expanding access, the reforms also:

  • Establish a framework to ensure greater protection for everyone involved, including mandating that all parties seek independent legal advice and counselling before entering an into an arrangement
  • Protect the rights of a surrogate to make decisions about their body. This includes how they look after themselves during pregnancy and choices about the birth of the child
  • Make it easier for intended parents to connect with surrogates by allowing them to advertise for an altruistic surrogate
  • Ensure flexibility about how and where conception occurs, allowing parties to use assisted reproductive technology services of their choice. This includes accessing services outside the ACT
  • Support ACT Courts to continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child

Quotes attributable to Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne:

“Altruistic surrogacy can provide hope to people seeking to become parents when it would otherwise be impossible. By removing outdated restrictions, we are promoting equality and respecting the diverse paths people may take to build their families.

“People who become altruistic surrogates provide an incredibly significant and selfless gift. This Bill will help to ensure that all parties in these arrangements have a full understanding of what is involved and are properly protected.”

/Public Release. View in full here.