Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health

    Review urges change to reproductive technology and surrogacy laws

    21/03/2019 8:40 AM
     
    • Comprehensive review makes 122 recommendations around surrogacy and reproductive technology in Western Australia
    • Review follows extensive stakeholder consultation and provides a foundation for the future provision of services 

    The McGowan Government today tabled in State Parliament a major report reviewing the State's surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology (ART) laws.

     

    The Review of the Western Australian Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and the Surrogacy Act 2008 was undertaken by independent reviewer, Associate Professor Sonia Allan and makes a total of 122 recommendations.

     

    The two-part report is the most comprehensive review of WA's surrogacy and human reproductive technology (HRT) regulations since the original legislation was enacted. Part one of the review focuses on the Human Reproductive Technology Act and part two on the Surrogacy Act.

     

    The review involved extensive stakeholder consultation through four public forums, seven parliamentary briefings, numerous individual face-to-face briefings and the acceptance of 126 written submissions.

     

    People who had accessed surrogacy or fertility treatments, fertility clinic staff, surrogate mothers, donor-conceived people, clinicians, academics, general practitioners and Members of Parliament were among the more than 180 individuals and organisations who contributed to the review.

     

    Terms of reference were extensive and wide-ranging. The review was announced by the Government in January last year to provide a foundation for updating Western Australia's ART and surrogacy legislation.

     

    Key recommendations of the report include:

    • Establishment of a government advisory body on research and issues relevant to the regulation and practise of ART and surrogacy;
    • A donor conception register to enable all donor-conceived people to access identifying information about their donor;
    • Amendments to discriminatory provisions within the HRT and Surrogacy Acts that prevent access to ART and surrogacy; and
    • Changes to allow patients who face impending loss of fertility or ability to bear a child, be allowed to access in vitro fertilisation procedures. 

    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:

     

    "This report deals with a rapidly evolving landscape and provides insight into the highly complex social, ethical and legal issues that surround the practices of ART and surrogacy. It also highlights the significant impact - positive and negative - that these practices can have on the individuals involved.

     

    "This report contains many deeply personal and moving stories and we are very grateful to those who shared their experiences with Associate Professor Allan during the consultation phase of the review.

     

    "While there is an undeniable need to update WA's regulation around these practices, it is imperative that any changes we adopt are workable, serve the best interests of all involved and give precedence to the welfare of individuals born as a result of such practices.

     

    "We welcome Associate Professor Allan's comprehensive, considered and sensitive report into ART and surrogacy in WA. We will give careful consideration to the review's recommendations."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 6500