- McGowan Government's response to Allan Review Recommendations for changes to surrogacy and human reproductive technology legislation
- WA to develop new laws for surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
- Donor conceived people to gain greater information about their ancestry
- Improved access to altruistic surrogacy for those experiencing likely-infertility as well as same-sex couples, single men, transgender, and intersex people
- Further consultation on whether a surviving partner may be able to use sperm, eggs or embryos of a deceased partner
- Ban on commercial surrogacy in Western Australia to remain
The course has been set for the development of contemporary legislation to enable more Western Australians to begin a family, reflective of the change in both societal views and technological advancements in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
The McGowan Government has approved a detailed response to the 122 recommendations made in Dr Sonia Allan's 2019 Review of the Western Australian Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and the Surrogacy Act 2008. The response will be tabled in State Parliament this week.
The review was the most comprehensive undertaken since the WA legislation was enacted and involved extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders.
The WA Donor Conception Register would be maintained and people conceived with the assistance of a donor would have improved access to their biological heritage. Benefits for donor-conceived people include access to further information about their identity and medical history.
Support services will be made available to assist both donor-conceived people and their biological donor, and further consultation will be carried out regarding the process of information release, taking into consideration issues of confidentiality and privacy for all participants.
Equity of access will be provided for altruistic surrogacy including consideration of women who face impending infertility, single men, people in same-sex relationships, transgender people and intersex people.
Access to surrogacy would be improved by allowing clinics to recruit altruistic surrogates but commercial surrogacy arrangements of any kind that involve payment or reward for surrogacy services will remain prohibited.
Other legislative changes will seek to establish a co-regulatory model for ART in WA, including aligning with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines. Further consultation regarding the posthumous use of gametes in accordance with the NHMRC Guidelines is supported.
A Ministerial Advisory Panel will be established by the end of this year to advise the Minister for Health and ensure new legislation reflects social developments and scientific advances to ensure the safe use of ART.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"We are committed to supporting more Western Australians to start a family or expand their family with help from assisted reproductive technology, where it is safe and ethically sound for all.
"The expertise of Dr Allan and the extensive consultation conducted as part of her review reassures us that the way forward for the legislation strikes the right balance in safeguarding public and professional confidence in these services.
"We recognise the significant challenge and personal heartache some Western Australians experience in their quest to begin a family and that is why we are committed to develop new laws that carefully balance the needs of the parent or parents, intended parents, and the best interest of the unborn child.
"For some, the changes can't come fast enough. I want to assure these people we are committed to introducing new legislation to Parliament during this term of government."
Minister's office - 6552 6500