Thursday, April 11, 2019

WA kicks surrogacy bill to the long paddock

The WA Upper House has referred that State's surrogacy bill to committee, which is the equivalent of sending it to the long paddock. Let's see if it reappears anytime soon.

The Bill is NOT the comprehensive response to Professor Sonia Allen's review, but only one very limited aspect - whether to allow single men and gay male couples access to surrogacy.Single women and lesbian couples are able to access surrogacy in WA. [Surrogacy is occasionally needed for lesbian couples too. I have acted in several cases where lesbian couples have needed to access surrogacy in order to become parents.]

The Bill if enacted would bring WA into line with every other State and the ACT, but more importantly will bring WA into line with the Sex Discrimination Act and Australia's international obligations as to human rights. The UN Human Rights Committee has been consistently critical of Australia in the past for continuing to deny LGBTI people access to reproductive rights.

The referral to committee comes after Opposition MLC Nick Goiran filibustered for almost 24 hours in his opposition to the Bill.