Friday, 13 February 2009

SCAG calls for uniform surrogacy laws

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, the unfortunately named SCAG has released a discussion paper suggesting that there be uniform surrogacy laws allowing for altruistic surrogacy, but banning commercial surrogacy.

The paper proposes as one option that surrogates can be paid up to $10,000 in expenses, and that there might be residency requirements - so that intending parents in one State could not go to another State for surrogacy arrangements.

In the well known case of Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy and his wife, who are Victorians, the couple had a child by surrogacy in NSW because it was banned in Victoria. If that portion of the paper were to be enacted, it would prevent people like Senator Conroy and his wife travelling interstate. To use the most bizarre application of such a proposal, this would mean, for example that people living in Queenbeyan could not go to Canberra, or people living at Tweed Heads could not go to the Gold Coast.

Submissions should be sent to the Executive Officer of the Secretariat of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, NSW Attorney General’s Department, GPO Box 6, Sydney NSW 2001 or can be emailed to Inquiries may be directed to the SCAG Secretariat – ph 02 8061 9325

The closing date for submissions is 16 April 2009.

The paper, which contains an excellent current summary of surrogacy law in Australia, can be accessed here.

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