Australian gay dads seek surrogacy rights. Both partners in a male couple would be recognised as parents of the child.

A proposal that seeks to align state and federal surrogacy laws has been released for public consultation and submissions.

The paper titled, A Proposal for a National Model to harmonise regulation of Surrogacy was released by the National Standing Committee of Attorney Generals (SCAG) and the ministerial councils for Community Services and Health. GLBT activists have welcomed the move.

Corey Irlam, spokesperson for the Australian Coalition for Equality told Melbourne Community Voice:

“We are cautiously optimistic that this provides an opportunity for the states to become equal and to update their laws to access surrogacy.

“Surrogacy is a state-based issue and the federal government has said they will acknowledge any state based surrogacy laws,” Irlam said.

The paper makes several recommendations that would benefit same-sex and heterosexual couples.

If the recommendations were successful, both partners in a gay male couple would be recognised as parents of the child.

Currently in Victoria, the non-biological partner in a gay couple is not seen as a legal parent.

“Without the ability for the non-biological parent to adopt as a second parent, gay men who are entering into a surrogacy arrangement will be unable to both be seen as the legal parents of the child,” Irlam said.

“The Victorian Law Reform Commission recommended that adoption would be addressed and the government have not acted upon this.”

Currently, the non-biological parent in a gay male couple has to apply for a parenting order from the Family Court to have any legal parenting rights.

“He can apply for a passport for the child, enrol the child in school and make medical decisions. It’s still not a full parent situation, but it’s the closest thing we have in Victoria.”

Image: Gay Dads Australia