Here you will find updates from the different campaigns and advocacy work the Board has been involved with.

Surrogacy Australia welcomes expressions of interest for new Board members. We are a small charity and the role would suit individuals with a background in the non-profit sector, those with governance experience, and also those who are keen to be advocates and ‘champions’ for surrogacy in Australia. Head to the About Us section for the PDF to download for Expressions of Interest, or see link here.

January 2024 Response to the Pope calling surrogacy 'deplorable'

In response to Pope Francis’ call for a global ban on parenting via surrogacy, Surrogacy Australia urges all peoples to recognise the diverse perspectives on this matter, especially from an Australian standpoint.

While the Pope raises concerns about the exploitation of women and the commodification of pregnancy, it is crucial to understand that surrogacy, when regulated and conducted ethically, can be a valid and compassionate option for individuals or couples facing fertility challenges.

Australia has a nuanced approach to surrogacy, with variations in regulations across different states. In Australia, altruistic surrogacy is permitted, emphasizing the importance of a non-commercial, voluntary arrangement where the surrogate is not financially motivated. This approach allows for a careful balance between safeguarding the rights and dignity of women involved while addressing the emotional needs of those seeking to start a family.

Pope Francis’ opposition to surrogacy might be rooted in a particular moral and religious perspective, but it is crucial to acknowledge that diverse cultural, social, and ethical considerations exist on this matter. In Australia, the conversation around surrogacy has evolved to recognize the autonomy and agency of women involved, emphasizing informed consent and the protection of all parties involved.

Moreover, Pope Francis’ remarks may be perceived as antagonistic towards the LGBTQ+ community, given that surrogacy is often utilized by same-sex couples who wish to become parents. Australia has made significant strides in recognizing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, including legalizing same-sex marriage. The discussion around surrogacy should be approached with sensitivity and an understanding of the diverse family structures that exist in contemporary society.

Ultimately, the global conversation on surrogacy should involve a respectful consideration of different cultural, religious, and ethical perspectives, acknowledging the importance of autonomy, informed consent, and the well-being of all individuals involved in the surrogacy process.

Surrogacy Australia spokesperson Anna McKie contributed to an ABC article and was featured on Channel 10’s The Project.

December 2023 Fundraising Campaign Aims to Overturn Restrictions on Gay Intended Parents in WA

Mobilizing Support for Legal Challenge Against Surrogacy Ban in Western Australia

December Fundraising Campaign Aims to Overturn Restrictions on Gay Intended Parents

Surrogacy Australia has launched a fundraising campaign to cover case filing fees for a pair of gay Intended Parents (IPs) seeking to challenge the surrogacy ban outlined in Western Australia’s 2008 Act. The initiative aims to bring the issue to the forefront of legal discourse and advocate for equal surrogacy rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

The 2008 Act, which currently specifically prohibits gay individuals and couples from accessing surrogacy services, has been a subject of contention for years. In a significant move, Surrogacy Australia is working to support gay IPs in their pursuit of justice by providing financial assistance to cover the legal costs associated with challenging the ban.

Surrogacy Australia believes that denying surrogacy rights based on sexual orientation is a clear violation of equal rights and is determined to address this through legal channels. The Supreme Court of Western Australia is expected to be the battleground where the case will unfold.

Surrogacy Australia spokesperson Anna McKie stated, “Our organization is committed to fostering inclusivity and equality in surrogacy laws. We firmly believe that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have the right to build a family through surrogacy. The legal challenge aims to strike down discriminatory barriers and set a precedent for a more inclusive and equitable surrogacy landscape.”
The fundraising campaign, initiated in December, has garnered support from various individuals, organizations, and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Donations reflect a collective effort to break down barriers and ensure that surrogacy services are accessible to all.

Mrs. McKie expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support, stating, “The response to our campaign has been heartening. It underscores the widespread belief in the principles of equality and justice. We are optimistic that, with the support of the general public, we can make strides towards dismantling discriminatory surrogacy laws.”

Legal experts anticipate that the case could set a significant legal precedent, not only in Western Australia but potentially influencing surrogacy regulations nationally. The legal challenge is seen as a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for equal rights within the broader LGBTIQA+ rights movement.
As the case unfolds in the Supreme Court, Surrogacy Australia remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for the rights of gay IPs and challenging outdated legislation that impedes their ability to start a family through surrogacy. The outcome of this legal battle could have far-reaching implications for the LGBTIQA+ community’s access to reproductive technologies and family-building options.

2023 Advocating for Medicare Rebates in Domestic IVF Surrogacy

Advocating for Medicare Rebates in Domestic IVF Surrogacy

Surrogacy Australia is intensifying its efforts to persuade the Commonwealth government to implement recommendations proposed by its expert committee. The focus of their advocacy is centered on allowing Medicare rebates for in vitro fertilization (IVF) associated with domestic surrogacy.

Surrogacy Australia has been actively engaged in discussions with policymakers to promote the recommendations outlined in a comprehensive report by the expert committee. The report underscores the importance of providing financial support to intended parents pursuing IVF treatments within the country, particularly those engaging in domestic surrogacy arrangements.

Current Medicare policies in Australia provide rebates for a range of medical services, but IVF expenses related to domestic surrogacy are not covered. Surrogacy Australia argues that extending Medicare support for these specific circumstances would alleviate financial burdens on intended parents and contribute to the overall well-being of families created through surrogacy.

Surrogacy Australia emphasizes that financial considerations are a significant barrier for many individuals or couples considering surrogacy, and the confusing gaps in Medicare support adds an extra layer of complexity to an already emotionally and financially demanding process (the community feedback is that the average spend for Intended Parents ranges from $30,000-$90,000 Australian dollars for domestic surrogacy arrangements)

Surrogacy Australia is actively engaging with members of parliament and key stakeholders to raise awareness about the benefits of implementing the proposed changes. The organization believes that the government’s support in enacting these recommendations will contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals and couples exploring surrogacy options.

As the advocacy efforts gain momentum, Surrogacy Australia remains optimistic that the Commonwealth government will take the necessary steps to enhance the accessibility and affordability of domestic surrogacy through the provision of Medicare rebates for IVF associated with these arrangements. The potential impact extends beyond individual families, contributing to a more comprehensive and compassionate approach to reproductive health in the nation.

Taking Center Stage in “All Kids Are Equal” Campaign, Advocating for Improved Parentage Access

In a significant move towards enhancing family-building options for couples engaged in domestic surrogacy, Surrogacy Australia has emerged as a pivotal force within the “All Kids Are Equal” campaign consortium. This group is actively lobbying state governments across Australia to reform and streamline access to parentage (currently, the transference of parentage , ultimately aiming to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for families and others formed through surrogacy.

Surrogacy Australia is dedicated to supporting and educating individuals and couples involved in surrogacy journeys, and has joined forces with like-minded advocates, legal experts, and community leaders in the “All Kids Are Equal” campaign. The consortium is committed to addressing the existing challenges and disparities in parentage laws that affect families opting for surrogacy arrangements within the country.
The primary focus of the campaign is to encourage state governments to adopt consistent, transparent, and accessible legislation related to surrogacy, ensuring that all children born through surrogacy are treated equally in terms of legal recognition and parental rights.

Currently, Australia’s surrogacy laws vary significantly between states and territories, creating a complex legal landscape for those involved in surrogacy arrangements. The All Kids Are Equal campaign seeks to rectify these inconsistencies, advocating for a harmonized approach that ensures uniformity in parentage laws nationwide.

Surrogacy Australia’s involvement in the consortium underscores the organization’s dedication to promoting positive surrogacy experiences and removing unnecessary barriers that hinder prospective parents from forming families through surrogacy. By participating in the campaign, Surrogacy Australia aims to contribute to the creation of a more supportive and inclusive legal framework for surrogacy in Australia.

As Surrogacy Australia continues to play a key role in this consortium, it brings to the forefront the voices of those directly impacted by the current legal landscape surrounding surrogacy. By engaging with state governments, the campaign aims to foster a constructive dialogue that will lead to legislative changes, ensuring that the rights of all children, regardless of their method of conception, are protected and recognized equally.

Advocating for Legal Reform Through Recruited Case-Study Families

In a pioneering effort to address the challenges posed by evolving parentage laws in Australia, Surrogacy Australia has emerged as a key player in advocating for legal reform. The organization has been actively recruiting families who have been disadvantaged by the clumsy transfer of parentage laws, using their personal stories to push for much-needed changes.

The complex landscape of surrogacy and parentage laws in Australia creates hurdles for many families attempting to navigate the process. As society and science continue to evolve, the legislation has not, and, the unintended consequences have left some families in a precarious position. Surrogacy Australia aims to shed light on these challenges by bringing the stories of affected children and families to the forefront.

One notable initiative by Surrogacy Australia involves collaborating with families who have faced difficulties due to the intricate legal framework surrounding surrogacy. These case-study families, recruited through the organization’s extensive network, share their experiences to illustrate the real-world impact of the current parentage laws.

Beyond the recruitment of case-study families. Surrogacy Australia has been instrumental in establishing a platform for these families to voice their concerns, connecting them with policymakers, legal experts, and the wider public through various channels. One such platform is the website, where the stories of these families are shared, and a call for legal reform is made.

In a recent statement, a spokesperson for Surrogacy Australia emphasized the need for a more streamlined and compassionate approach to surrogacy laws. They highlighted the inadvertent disadvantages faced by families due to legal complexities, urging lawmakers to consider the human impact of these regulations.
The stories featured on the organization’s website reflect the diversity of families affected by the current legal landscape. From same-sex couples to individuals struggling with fertility, these case studies paint a vivid picture of the challenges encountered in their surrogacy journeys.

Surrogacy Australia’s advocacy efforts have gained traction, drawing attention from legal experts, lawmakers, and the wider public. The organization’s unique approach of using personal narratives to underscore the urgency of legal reform has sparked conversations about the need for a comprehensive review of Australia’s surrogacy laws.

As the dialogue around surrogacy reform continues to grow, Surrogacy Australia remains committed to amplifying the voices of those directly impacted. The organization’s role in recruiting families to tell their stories and facilitating a nationwide conversation underscores the vital intersection between personal stories and legal change. In the pursuit of a more inclusive and supportive surrogacy framework, Surrogacy Australia stands as a beacon for families navigating the intricate path to parenthood.

November 2023 Advocating for Inclusive Laws in Western Australia

Surrogacy Australia took proactive steps in November to engage with two key Western Australian ministers and their advisors to advocate for the creation of surrogacy laws that are not only comprehensive but also inclusive, ensuring equal opportunities for gay singles and couples to engage in domestic surrogacy arrangements.

The meeting, which took place in Perth, marked a significant stride towards refining and modernizing Western Australia’s surrogacy laws. The current legislative framework has been under scrutiny for its perceived limitations in addressing the diverse needs of the community, particularly with regard to the rights and options available to gay individuals and couples seeking to build families through surrogacy.
Representatives from Surrogacy Australia, a leading advocacy group dedicated to promoting and supporting ethical surrogacy practices, engaged in constructive discussions with the Western Australian ministers and their advisors. The primary focus was to ensure that the changes to surrogacy legislation are not only workable but also reflective of the evolving societal landscape that recognizes and respects the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

One of the key issues highlighted during the meeting was the necessity of eliminating any discriminatory provisions that may hinder the ability of gay singles and couples to engage in surrogacy arrangements within the state. Surrogacy Australia emphasized the importance of creating a legal framework that acknowledges and supports the diverse ways families are formed in contemporary society.

Surrogacy Australia also stressed the need for clear and transparent guidelines that safeguard the rights of all parties involved in surrogacy arrangements while providing a supportive environment for surrogates, intended parents, and children born through surrogacy.

Surrogacy Australia’s efforts align with broader global trends, where an increasing number of jurisdictions are revising their surrogacy laws to promote inclusivity and remove barriers for individuals and couples, regardless of their sexual orientation.

While the discussions in November represent a crucial step forward, it is important to note that legislative changes must involve a thorough review process. Surrogacy Australia remains committed to collaborating with policymakers to ensure that the final laws not only meet the needs of the community but also set a progressive example for other regions to follow.

As Western Australia navigates the path toward updated surrogacy laws, the collaborative efforts between Surrogacy Australia and key government officials signify a positive stride towards fostering inclusivity and equal rights for all those seeking to start or expand their families through surrogacy.

November 2023 Advocating for Inclusive Legislation in ACT's Review of Surrogacy Laws

In a groundbreaking move, Surrogacy Australia has taken a significant step towards promoting inclusivity in surrogacy laws, as the organization submitted a pivotal proposal to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) review of their existing surrogacy legislation in November. The submission emphasizes the need for a comprehensive and flexible legal framework that accommodates the rights and aspirations of single individuals to engage in surrogacy.

Surrogacy Australia’s submission has not only caught the attention of the review committee but has also earned the organization an invitation to meet with the committee members. This is evidence of the growing recognition of the importance of accommodating diverse family structures and individual choices in the evolving landscape of surrogacy laws.

The current legislation in the ACT has been criticised for its limitations, particularly concerning singles’ access to surrogacy options. Surrogacy Australia, an advocacy group committed to supporting and informing all Australians about surrogacy, has seized the opportunity to address these issues and contribute to the development of more inclusive and adaptive laws.

The primary focus of Surrogacy Australia’s submission is to ensure that the forthcoming bill acknowledges the rights of singles to pursue surrogacy arrangements. Traditionally, surrogacy laws have primarily centered around couples, leaving singles facing legal obstacles and uncertainties. By engaging with the committee, Surrogacy Australia aims to advocate for a legal framework that reflects the diverse needs and family structures present in contemporary society.

The invitation to meet with the committee is a testament to the relevance and impact of Surrogacy Australia’s proposal. The organization will have the opportunity to present its case directly to lawmakers, articulating the importance of recognizing the autonomy of single individuals in the surrogacy process.

Surrogacy Australia spokesperson Anna McKie expressed optimism about the upcoming meeting, stating, “We are thrilled to have the chance to discuss our proposal with the committee. This is a crucial moment in shaping surrogacy laws that truly reflect the values of inclusivity, choice, and respect for individual rights. We believe that everyone, regardless of their relationship status, should have the opportunity to build a family through surrogacy, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the committee to achieve this goal.”

As the review process unfolds, Surrogacy Australia’s involvement serves as a beacon for progress in the realm of family-building legislation. The willingness of lawmakers to engage with advocacy groups and consider a broader perspective signals a positive shift towards a more inclusive and responsive legal framework for surrogacy in the Australian Capital Territory