ACT Expands Access to Altruistic Surrogacy, Promoting Equality and Empowerment

ACT, Australia

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has taken a significant step towards expanding access to altruistic surrogacy, with the recent passage of the Parentage (Surrogacy) Amendment Bill 2023. This move aligns the territory’s surrogacy laws with other Australian jurisdictions and represents a milestone in the advancement of reproductive rights.

The new Bill includes key amendments designed to enhance access to altruistic surrogacy for more Canberrans, including those experiencing infertility and single individuals. The amendments remove the requirement for two intended parents to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, and eliminate the need for any intended parents to have a genetic connection with the child. These changes open up surrogacy as a pathway to parenthood for single people in the ACT and for couples where both parties may experience infertility.

In addition to expanding access, the reforms also establish a framework to ensure greater protection for everyone involved, including mandating that all parties seek independent legal advice and counselling before entering an arrangement. The rights of a surrogate to make decisions about their body are protected, and the Bill makes it easier for intended parents to connect with surrogates by allowing them to advertise for an altruistic surrogate.

Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne stated, “Altruistic surrogacy can provide hope to people seeking to become parents when it would otherwise be impossible. By removing outdated restrictions, we are promoting equality and respecting the diverse paths people may take to build their families.” She further emphasized the selfless gift provided by those who become altruistic surrogates and the importance of ensuring that all parties in these arrangements have a full understanding of what is involved and are properly protected.