The review has been announced by NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith pursuant to Section 60 of the Act, which called for an examination three years after the bill’s date of assent. The Act commenced in March 2011 after it was passed following a conscience vote and for the first time made it legal for de facto and same-sex couples to apply for parentage orders.
Then-Premier Kristina Keneally, who supported the bill, said in October 2010 the Act was created because NSW lacked stand-alone surrogacy laws which meant that people who entered into surrogacy arrangements because they were unable to have children faced difficulty in gaining legal parentage of their children.
“This legislation is about making it easier for couples with children born through surrogacy arrangements to gain full recognition as parents so that they do not face obstacles when they seek to do the things we often take for granted, like enrol their child in school, obtain a passport, or make decisions about their child’s health,” she said at the time.
Under the Act, commercial surrogacy remains illegal although a surrogate mother may have all her costs paid by the intending parents.
The policy objectives of the Surrogacy Act 2010 are to protect the interests of children born as a result of surrogacy arrangements; provide legal certainty for parties to surrogacy arrangements, and prevent the commercialisation of human reproduction.
The Act’s guiding principle is “that, in relation to any surrogacy arrangement, the best interests of the child of the surrogacy arrangement are paramount”.
The closing date for public submissions is April 30.
INFO: Written submissions should be sent to: The Director, Justice Policy, Department of Attorney General and Justice, GPO Box 6, Sydney NSW 2001 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Act can be viewed here.