Pay surrogate mums $10,000
Cash call: IVF pioneer John Yovich. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

IVF pioneer John Yovich believes WA's fertility laws should be overhauled to allow surrogate mothers to be paid $10,000 for the "special act" of carrying a child for a couple.

Dr Yovich, medical director of PIVET clinic, also wants laws modernised to allow clinics to pay women $5000 for donated eggs and men $2000 for their donor sperm.

WA's peak doctors' group has given guarded support, saying while it does not support commercial arrangements, it is time to review how much surrogates and donors are reimbursed.

It comes as the State Government reviews the 2008 Surrogacy Act, which outlaws commercial deals and imposes penalties of $24,000 or two years in jail for anyone entering into such an arrangement.

Altruistic surrogacy is permitted but there can be no financial gain to the birth mother apart from reasonable reimbursement of expenses related to the pregnancy. Other laws stipulate egg and sperm donors can be paid only a nominal amount to cover their time and transport costs.

Dr Yovich said the Reproductive Technology Council was outdated and oppressive, restricting what IVF clinics could offer and prompting some patients to go overseas to access unregulated services, including surrogacy.

"The term 'altruism' also needs to be better defined so that egg and sperm donors can be remunerated to a reasonable level covering the special services and acts that are providing," he said.

Controls could be put in place to stop bigger amounts being offered "for coercion."

Australian Medical Association WA president Michael Gannon said he fully supported the role of the RTC but believed it was time to review what donors and surrogate mothers could be paid.

"The use of surrogacy and donors is a reality of life, and I'm supportive of looking at the remuneration that can be paid to them," Dr Gannon said.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the RTC only supported altruistic surrogacy and donation of eggs, sperm or embryos, with reimbursement of reasonable expenses.

"This was also the clear view of Parliament when this legislation was debated in 2008, and I do not support any proposal to change the current system," he said.

"This is in line with all Australian jurisdictions by way of specific legislation or adherence to NHMRC ethical guidelines.

"Donation of both tissue and organs is viewed as a gift and there is concern that financial incentives may compromise the consent of the donor."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West