Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has confirmed that plans to ban same-sex couples from accessing altruistic surrogacy under amendments to the state’s Surrogacy Act will not be retroactive, according to a letter written to a community advocate.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie (pictured) announced plans to ban same-sex couples from accessing altruistic surrogacy during the debate regarding the rollback of the state’s civil union laws earlier this year.
The changes attracted criticism from community organisations and the Queensland Law Society (QLS), which branded them a “miscarriage of justice”.
Queensland LGBTI advocate Phil Browne expressed his concerns to the premier and attorney-general about the changes, asking them to explain their positions.
The premier replied in a letter, stating that amendments would not affect couples who have already undertaken altruistic surrogacy or those who have completed the process.
“I can confirm that any amendments to the Act will not affect those couples who have already filed an application or have completed a surrogacy parenting arrangement,” Newman wrote.
“This government recognises the importance of maintaining the legal protection of both the children and their parents in these circumstances.”
The premier concluded by mentioning the amendments were still open to discussion and “will be further considered and debated in Parliament”.
While Browne welcomed the news, he said he still fundamentally disagreed to any and all amendments.
Brisbane family lawyer Stephen Page has also welcomed the news that lesbian co-parents would continue to be recognised under the law.
“If one looked at what the attorney-general told the House, it appears that lesbian co-parents would be excluded [from the amendments]… he saw that there was some benefit in there being recognition of lesbian co-mothers,” Page told the Star Observer.