Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Mental Health; Child Protection

    Court orders safety plan for surrogate child

    14/04/2016 11:45 AM
    • Family Court orders issued in surrogacy case
    • Comprehensive safety plan and safety network already established

    Family Court orders have been issued today by the Chief Judge of the Family Court of Western Australia in the case of a surrogate child from Bunbury.


    Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell welcomed the decision and said the judgement by The Honourable Justice Stephen Thackray had been made with the highest level of scrutiny and independent judicial decision-making available.


    "The stringent conditions of this order can only strengthen the ongoing safety of this child both now and into the long term," Ms Mitchell said.


    "The Department for Child Protection and Family Support conducted an extensive safety and wellbeing assessment and implemented a rigorous safety plan for the child.


    "This work was then reviewed and endorsed by world-leading independent child protection specialists."


    The safety plan includes the establishment of a safety network involving family, community members and professional support agencies, along with ongoing formal involvement and active monitoring by the department.


    The case covered a complex set of legal, emotional and social circumstances, including human rights and the legalities of artificial fertility and surrogacy.  The department's only role has been the safety and wellbeing of the child.


    "The department has been working intensively with this family for more than 18 months and will continue to be involved in the child's future," the Minister said.


    "The media also have a significant role to play in protecting and helping this child by allowing her the privacy to work through these complex life circumstances and letting her enjoy a childhood free from ongoing public scrutiny."


    The decision includes some specific conditions around how the case must be reported in the media.


    Fact File

    • The Chief Judge of the Family Court of WA has now made a final decision and order in this case.  A copy of this is available on the Family Court of Western Australia website

    Minister's office - 6552 5400