A commonly asked question is whether surrogacy is legal in Western Australia in 2024 and the short answer is ‘yes is it’. Surrogacy in Western Australia is governed by the Surrogacy Act (2008) and Human Reproductive Technology (HRT) Act (1991) which outline the legal framework and regulations surrounding surrogacy arrangements in the region.

Understanding these laws is crucial for individuals and couples considering surrogacy as an option for starting or expanding their family. In this article, we will delve deeper into the aspects of surrogacy in Western Australia, exploring the requirements, rights, and responsibilities involved for all parties concerned.

Who is eligible for surrogacy in WA?

A person (woman) is deemed eligible to commission a surrogate under the following circumstances if she:

  1. is unable to conceive a child due to medical reasons;

  2. would be likely to conceive a child affected by a genetic abnormality or a disease if she were to conceive a child herself;

  3. is unable for medical reasons to give birth to a child, although able to conceive herself.

Medical reasons that may warrant the need for a surrogate can include, but are not limited to:

  1. reproductive abnormalities;

  2. many unsuccessful attempts to conceive involving In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and embryo transfers;

  3. a history of repeated miscarriages.

The medical reasons for being unable to conceive a child that are referred to in the definition of eligible person do not include:

  1. a reason arising from a person’s age; or

  2. a reason prescribed for the purpose of the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 (WA)

Types of surrogacy

The word ‘surrogate’ is derived from Latin and means ‘elect as a substitute’.

A surrogate is a woman who carries a child with the intention of giving that child to the intended parent(s) when the child is born. There are two types of surrogacy arrangements, gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogacy

Within this arrangement the surrogate has no genetic link to the child who is to be born. The embryo that is created and transferred to the surrogate involves eggs and sperm produced by the intended parents. On occasion an egg and/or sperm donor may also be required. Once the embryo is created it is then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate with the goal of implantation and pregnancy.

Traditional Surrogacy

This type of surrogacy arrangement occurs in situations where the eggs of the surrogate woman are used in the conception of the child, resulting in a genetic connection to the child who is to be born.

Who can be a surrogate?

To reduce the risks associated with surrogacy for both the intended parent(s) and the proposed surrogate, Concept Fertility has a number of conditions that must be fulfilled before treatment is approved:

To satisfy the conditions of becoming a surrogate, a candidate must:

  1. Be at least 25 years of age;

  2. Have had a live birth of their own;

  3. Have no history of pregnancy related illnesses or complications;

  4. Be in a monogamous relationship if sexually active;

  5. Have an established relationship with the intended parents;

  6. Not suffer from any untreated significant psychological disorder that would impair decision-making or the care of a child (this also applies to the intended parents).

Clinical & Psychological considerations of Surrogacy

There are important clinical and psychosocial considerations when contemplating a surrogacy arrangement. Our experience has been that the establishment of a trusting relationship between the surrogate and the intended parent(s) is essential and of paramount importance in reducing the potential for parentage disputes. Clinically, pregnancy and birth can have serious health implications for any woman.

At Concept Fertility, we consider it critical to ensure the safety of a surrogacy arrangement at every step for every participant involved. It is important to remember that surrogacy is a serious undertaking and one that should not be entered into lightly. A key part of this is ensuring that all the participants, particularly the surrogate, look back on all decisions involved with confidence and contentment.

Surrogacy at Concept Fertility

At Concept Fertility, we're proud to lead the way in surrogacy arrangements in WA. Our dedicated surrogacy program, supported by compassionate nurses, ensures a personalised and smooth journey. If you have questions about your fertility or concerns, connect with a fertility specialist. Call us at (08) 9382 2388 to schedule an appointment and explore your options with Concept Fertility.

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