Commercial surrogacy is illegal throughout Australia, aside from the Northern Territory. However, in December last year, the Commonwealth Attorney General announced that he had requested the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs to hold an inquiry into Australian and overseas surrogacy arrangements.
The inquiry is to consider the various issues and recommendations made in two recent reviews into surrogacy that were released in 2015, being the Family Law Council's Parentage and the Family Law Act Report; and Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Roundtable on Surrogacy Report.
The Committee is to report by 30 June 2016 on the following areas:
- the roles of the states and territories in regulating international and domestic surrogacy;
- ways for the Federal government to deal adequately with this issue including in relation to its laws, policies and practices;
- the ability of the Federal government and the states and territories to work together to share information;
- Australia's international obligations;
- a detailed review of other countries' laws, policies and practices in relation to international surrogacy, immigration and citizenship;
- matters concerning consent, payments, rights and protections;
- matters concerning medical and welfare issues; and
- the amount and accuracy of available information to interested parties.