The territory’s Labor government today made NT history with the passage of the Surrogacy Bill 2022.
The Bill establishes a legislative framework to regulate domestic surrogacy for the first time in the Northern Territory. This bill also explicitly prohibits commercial surrogacy.
The bill allows those who have struggled with conventional methods of starting a family to have the same opportunities to become parents.
The bill provides a route for the transfer of parentage of a child born from a surrogacy agreement within the framework of the required legal safeguards.
The rights of the child are at the forefront of this bill. This bill also includes protections to protect both parties from exploitation, and other protections such as ensuring that surrogate mothers have the same rights to manage their pregnancies and childbirth as any other woman.
The bill follows years of preparatory work, through research, consultation, public discussion and meetings with stakeholders.
Quotes attributable to Health Minister Natasha Fyles:
“We know that not all families can follow the same path to parenthood – for those where surrogacy is the best option, this bill provides a pathway and a framework.
“The bill, for the first time ever, brings legal clarity to Territorians who enter into a surrogacy agreement and ensures that a child born from such an agreement has the same legal status and rights as any other child.
“It also means that people no longer need to leave the territory to access surrogacy in other Australian jurisdictions or overseas.”