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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Altruistic surrogacy no longer a crime

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Altruistic surrogacy no longer a crime

    Queensland couples unable to have children now have new hope after State Parliament tonight passed laws that decriminalise altruistic surrogacy.

    Attorney General Cameron Dick said the amendments gave new hope to would-be parents while protecting the rights and interests of the children.

    “The passage of these amendments is a milestone for Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

    “Before today, Queensland was the only state in Australia where altruistic surrogacy was a crime, punishable by jail.

    “People who have been unable to start a family now have chance to experience the joy of becoming parents.”

    Mr Dick said the new surrogacy laws had been developed after several years of research and consultation by the government.

    He said the government had also allowed its members to vote on the Bill according to their conscience.

    “The Queensland surrogacy laws are based on the framework that was developed by the all-party parliamentary committee that made a detailed investigation of this issue in 2008,” Mr Dick said.

    “The government developed its framework based on the recommendations of the committee.

    “Consultation also occurred through the release of the proposed model that we intended to introduce, which was followed by the release of a draft Bill.

    “I understand members had differing views on the issues involved and I thank them for their serious consideration of the bill.

    “As a result of the Parliament’s thorough and thoughtful consideration of the surrogacy issue, we have adopted a system that puts the rights and interests of children first.

    “In the end, Parliament has passed laws underpinned by the principle that the wellbeing and best interests of the child are paramount,” he said.

    Mr Dick said any child born under a surrogacy arrangement would, following a court order for the transfer of parentage, enjoy the same status, protection and support as other children, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth or the status of the people who raise them.

    “All children born in Queensland will be treated equally,” he said.

    “Furthermore, the new laws continue to outlaw any form of commercial surrogacy in Queensland and advertising for surrogacy will also remain prohibited.”

    Mr Dick said following the recommendations made by the joint parliamentary committee, the government had also reviewed the status of children being cared for by same-sex parents and the law now recognised these parents.

    This review was also released for community feedback.

    “Queensland’s surrogacy laws do not discriminate and do not exclude people from becoming parents,” he said.

    “It is not up to the government to decide who will make good parents.

    “We simply want every child to be raised in a nurturing and supportive environment – and our law allows that to happen.”

    Media contact: Attorney-General’s Office 3239 3487