A review of current surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology legislation in Western Australia is being conducted, which may result in WA changing their current laws to allow same-sex couples to have children via a surrogate.
Legal academic, Professor Sonia Allan, will be conducting the review. Last year, she conducted a similar review for South Australia, which resulted in legalising surrogacy for same-sex couples. The review will also address additional issues such as genetic testing of embryos, donor-conceived individuals identity rights, and rights regarding embryos, eggs, and sperm in the event of divorce or death.
Although commercial surrogacy in illegal in all Australian states, the Western Australian review will consider its legalisation as part of this inquiry.
Western Australia’s Health Minister, Roger Cook, said of the change:
The review is long overdue. The existing Western Australian surrogacy and human reproductive technology laws are outdated, discriminatory, and are currently out of step with several Australian States.
Less than two months after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, existing bans on surrogacy are already being named as ‘outdated,’ ‘discriminatory’ and ‘out of step,’ and Western Australia is set to not only extend surrogacy to same-sex couples, but possibly overturn the prohibition on womb-for-hire arrangements. Same-sex marriage is being used to usher in more ‘progressive’ policies, just as we warned it would.
At Marriage Alliance, we have frequently pointed out the complications of surrogacy. Gushing media headlines tend to overstate the positive aspects of surrogacy, while underplaying the negative consequences. Stories of exploited women in countries such as Cambodia have repeatedly been brought to light. In another bizarre case, a 71-year-old man was awarded joint custody over four children fathered by his 48-year-old partner, and born to two Thai surrogates. The Australian government has even cautioned against the procurement of surrogate children from other countries in the past.
Stay alert, Australia. Complicated and dangerous surrogacy is just another example of the major consequences that are coming our way as a result of same-sex marriage.