The draft Surrogacy Bill has been prepared for community consultation. The Surrogacy Bill will open a way to assist people to realise their dreams of making a family. Even with recent medical advances in the use of assisted reproductive treatment for infertility, there are people in Tasmania who are unable to conceive. The current law in Tasmania prevents these people from using surrogacy as a last resort option to create a family.
The Surrogacy Bill 2010 is a new approach to the regulation of surrogacy in Tasmania. Currently surrogacy arrangements are void and unenforceable in Tasmania and, like other States and Territories have already done, this Bill will decriminalise altruistic surrogacy in Tasmania.
At present a child born through surrogacy is in a form of limbo in terms of their status. This Bill will provide a legal mechanism for the parentage of a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement to be transferred from the birth mother to the intended parent or parents.
This new approach to surrogacy is guided by and implements much of the report of the Legislative Council Select Committee on Surrogacy established in 2008 to investigate surrogacy in Tasmania.
The Bill is also consistent with model law developed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General which was intended as a guide for jurisdictions. The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia have all passed legislation in recent years to allow and regulate surrogacy and to provide a legal mechanism for the transfer of the parentage of the child from the birth mother to the intended parents.
The draft Bill, together with some explanatory material as well as links to the interstate legislation is available below. These documents can also be obtained in hard copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 03 6233 3798.
Comments on the Bill can be directed to the Office of Legislation Development and Review, Department of Justice, GPO Box 825, Hobart 7001.
Submissions close on Friday 4 February 2011.
Most other jurisdictions in Australia have surrogacy legislation in place, below are links to their legislation.