The ACT Government are reviewing the surrogacy framework and we have put together a submission for this review.
Surrogacy is an amazing process and having a baby for another family is the biggest gift someone can give to a person yearning to be a parent. Surrogates are incredible people who so often seek to support LGBTQ+ people to start a family. Surrogacy is not a difficult concept for our community. LGBTQ+ parents are not bound by gender norms and are able to create a family as it works best for them. For some this is ‘logical family’ instead of a ‘biological family’, while others talk about it taking a village to raise a child. In many surrogacy cases involving LGBTQ+ parents, surrogates become part of that village or logical family that helps raises a child.
This is the first recent review of surrogacy laws in Australia. The ACT has an opportunity to be leaders in this space and from reviewing the consultation paper the government are considering most of the important aspects of surrogacy in Australia. More and more LGBTQ+ people are using altruistic domestic surrogacy to create their families. LGBTQ+ parents are frustrated by the time it takes once the baby is born for them to be recognised legally as parents of their child. LGBTQ+ people struggle to find accurate information and support on the journey and would benefit from third party agencies being able to advertise their services – which would lead to better outcomes for all parties involved in surrogacy particularly the child.
Finally in the ACT there are children born through international surrogacy whose parents are not their legal parents due to the criminalisation of extraterritorial commercial surrogacy and fear of applying for a parentage order. These families are in legal limbo and desperately need a path forward to be recognised under the law as legitimate Australian families.
You can read the full submission here.