‘My single greatest wish’

Morley Labor MP Amber-Jade Sanderson told the lower house in WA Parliament on Tuesday it’s not just gay men who’ll benefit from proposed changes to the Human Reproductive Technology Act and the Surrogacy Act 2008.

“There has been a lot of focus on access to surrogacy for same-sex couples, but what about single men? I have someone in my electorate who has had some really devastating personal circumstances, and this bill could potentially change his life and fulfil his dreams of becoming a parent.

“His name is Rick, and he is happy for me to talk about his circumstances.

“He came to see me a few weeks ago about this issue. He and his wife were very happily married and had been trying to have a baby for many, many years. As with a lot of couples, it was not easy and did not go as smoothly as anticipated. They had started the IVF process and had several embryos in storage.

Cancer

“Tragically, Rick’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, and through the diagnosis and treatment the couple continued to plan their future, which included having children. The freezing of embryos was incredibly important because cancer treatment can often ruin fertility, and due to the impact of the cancer treatment they were already in the process of finding a surrogate. They knew that IVF was not an option and had already gone down the track of finding a surrogate.

“Devastatingly for Rick, his wife and family, his wife passed away from cancer.” As a now-single man under the current law, he could not access surrogacy arrangements in WA.

“With the support of his wife’s family, with whom he is still very close—they all live in or very close to my electorate—they still want to fulfil the family wishes by using the existing embryos and accessing surrogacy,” Ms Sanderson said.

“That baby will be incredibly wanted, loved and cherished.

“It will not be a straightforward family, but there will be many people around who will just adore this child.

“What a wonderful life and potential gift that would be for Rick and his family in light of such terrible circumstances.”

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