Western Australian same-sex couples could soon be able to have children using a surrogate after has announced the government will review Western Australia’s laws regarding reproductive technology.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the state’s laws were “out of step” with other Australian jurisdictions.
“These laws are outdated in parts and are arguably not meeting current needs and developments in practice occurring in other Australian states,” he said.
“This review is long overdue and I encourage all interested parties to take the time to make a submission and have their say.”
Unlike other states – including Queensland – non-commercial surrogacy is not available to Western Australian same-sex couples, prompting some to travel overseas to access commercial surrogacy.
The review, which will look at the state’s Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and the Surrogacy Act 2008, will be undertaken by Deakin University Associate Professor Sonia Allan who recently completed a review of similar legislation in South Australia.
University of WA Professor of Reproductive Medicine Roger Hart told The West Australian it was time to review the laws because the technology now available was not envisaged when the legislation was first enacted.
“For example, the stage that the embryo is now tested is more advanced than five years ago and the potential for harm to the developing embryo are now believed to be less,” Professor Hart said.
“In my opinion the restrictions placed upon which couples are allowed to have their embryos tested should be relaxed to assist couples by providing them more information to help them to make decisions with respect to their own treatment.”
For more information about the review, visit the Health Department’s website here. The review is accepting public submissions until Friday March 16.