babyinmumshandsThe Federal Attorney General today (3 December 2015) announced that he has requested that the Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs to undertake an inquiry into surrogacy arrangements.  The terms of reference for the inquiry are set out below.

The Attorney also announced that Chief Judge John Pascoe AO CVO of the Federal Circuit Court has been nominated to the Hague Conference on Private International Law’s Experts’ Group on parentage and surrogacy.  The Experts’ Group will consider the feasibility of establishing an international framework for regulation surrogacy arrangements.

Hopefully the inquiry will make sound recommendations which will be implemented and legislated in this very important area of law.  No doubt the discussion will involve commercial surrogacy and how surrogacy may be better administered through a national approach rather than the state based legislation that is now in place.  Contact Randal Binnie at Family Lawyers & Mediation Services should you have any need to inquire about how we can assist with surrogacy arrangements. – Surrogacy Act 2010 Qld – A collaborative approach

Terms of Reference for an Inquiry into the Regulatory and Legislative Aspects of Surrogacy Arrangements

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs will inquire and report into the regulatory and legislative aspects of international and domestic surrogacy arrangements, with a focus on:

1. the role and responsibility of states and territories to regulate surrogacy, both international and domestic, and differences in existing legislative arrangements
2. medical and welfare aspects for all parties involved, including regulatory requirements for intending parents and the role of health care providers, welfare services and other service providers
3. issues arising regarding informed consent, exploitation, compensatory payments, rights and protections for all parties involved, including children
4. relevant Commonwealth laws, policies and practices (including family law, immigration, citizenship, passports, child support and privacy) and improvements that could be made to enable the Commonwealth to respond appropriately to this issue (including consistency between laws where appropriate and desirable) to better protect children and others affected by such arrangements
5. Australia’s international obligations
6. the adequacy of the information currently available to interested parties to surrogacy arrangements (including the child) on risks, rights and protections
7. information sharing between the Commonwealth and states and territories, and 8. the laws, policies and practices of other countries that impact upon international surrogacy, particularly those relating to immigration and citizenship.

The Committee is to report no later than 30 June 2016.