Exploring surrogacy as an intended surrogate
Surrogacy in Australia is regulated in each state, which means there are no uniform laws that cover surrogacy across the country. Surrogacy laws in all states follow the same basic principles:
- The intended parents must not be able to either conceive or carry a baby themselves. You should check the laws in your state to see who can access surrogacy.
- The surrogacy arrangement is not enforceable. This means that if the you as a surrogate do not relinquish the baby, or the intended parents do not accept the baby, neither party can enforce the agreement. However, you can enforce the agreement to recover prescribed costs.
- The surrogacy arrangement must be altruistic. Commercial surrogacy is illegal in all states in Australia. This means the you and your partner cannot be paid for carrying a baby for someone else.
- Whilst surrogacy is altruistic, the intended parents must cover the your expenses in relation to surrogacy, pregnancy and birth.
- When the baby is born, the birth is registered in the state where the baby is born, with your name (and your partner’s name) listed as the baby’s parents on the Birth Certificate. After the birth, the intended parents can apply to the Court for a Parentage Order in the state where they live. The Order transfers parentage from the birth parents (you and your partner) to the intended parents. The Birth Certificate is then reissued with the new parents listed, instead of your names.
[Surrogacy in Australia – a quick overview // Australian Surrogacy Handbook 2018, Sarah Jefford]
Connecting with other Australian surrogates and seeking support
Altruistic surrogacy in Australia is built upon a foundation of friendship, and many intended surrogates often consider surrogacy for family members or friends. It is a very good idea to join established online support communities so you can connect with other surrogates and gain practical advice and invaluable support for your journey ahead. We recommend the following groups: