Episode 57 – Education – Is the child legally yours?

❗️ YES❗️

But it also depends who that question is directed to. The Intended Parents (IPs) will eventually be the legal parents of their child, however there is a process to follow in Australia. 


This page is part of a series of surrogacy education episodes from Anna. On the main podcast page you will find recent episodes and links to other categories: surrogates, gay dads, straight mums and guest / theme.

Join Anna McKie in conversation with surrogates and parents who have navigated Australian altruistic surrogacy. Anna is a gestational surrogate, high school Math teacher and surrogacy educator working with Surrogacy Australia and running SASS (Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service). 

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Is the child legally yours? Yes. But it also depends who that question is directed to. The intended parents, IPs, will eventually be the legal parents of their child. However, there is a process to follow in Australia to get to that point. The usual order of steps for this part. Prior to pregnancy attempts in most states, a written surrogacy agreement is created with two lawyers, one for the IPs and one for the surrogate and her partner. Once baby is born,

The first birth certificate issued will have the surrogate listed as birth mother and her partner will be listed too. The reason for this is so that parentage can be transferred to the IPs. This is how it is done in Australia and does make some IPs and surrogates nervous at the beginning but don’t let this little detail put you off. The IPs then apply for a parentage order in the state of their residence so even if baby was born in another state where the surrogate lives, the parentage order is applied for where the IPs live.

Some states have relinquishment counselling as part of this process after birth. That’s done at around six weeks post-birth. In some states, we all attend the Family Youth Court for a hearing and a judge passes approval for the parentage order. It’s often a joyful day for surrogacy teams as it marks the end of that part of the journey. A new birth certificate is then created where both IPs, well now P’s, now parents, are listed on the birth certificate, even if they are two dads.

And once the parents have that new birth certificate around four to eight months post-birth, then it means that you can apply for things like childcare, Medicare, and have that peace of mind that you’ve got your birth certificate with your child’s name on it and your names on it as the parents too. Surrogacy really does come down to trust, not these legal agreements. Parents trust that the surrogate will do the right thing during pregnancy and will hand over the baby. And as surrogates, we trust that the parents will also do the right thing for the rest of time.

to share their lives with us so that we stay connected to them and Surrogate Bub, because there’s no law to force the parents to continue to stay friends with us. So there really is a lot of trust both ways. And do remember, surrogates do not want to keep the baby. We’ve usually finished having our own family and now we want to see the IPs expand theirs. Sometimes our biggest fear is the parents won’t take the baby and we’ll be left with a keeper child that we don’t want. So yes, the child is legally the surrogate’s baby at birth.

but after the parentage order is complete and that part happens around three to six months post-birth and then of course the new birth certificate can be issued, then the child is legally the intended parents who are often called the commissioning parents. And as I said, they are now just the P’s, the parents. So you are legally your child’s parents at the end of it all when you have that birth certificate. If you are looking for more support from me one-on-one, register for SASS at surrogacyaustralia.org You might think of me as your Siri for surrogacy.

Until next time, welcome to the village.


Looking to find a surrogate in Australia? Consider joining ⁠SASS⁠.

Looking for an overview of surrogacy? Join us in a free, fortnightly Wednesday night ⁠webinar⁠.

Looking to chat with other IPs and surrogates in a casual setting? Join us for a monthly ⁠Zoom⁠ catch up, one Friday of each month. 

Looking to hear stories from parents through surrogacy and surrogates? Listen to our ⁠podcast⁠ series or watch episodes on our ⁠YouTube⁠ channel. 

Looking for support one-on-one? Register for ⁠SASS⁠ to connect with me – your Siri for Surrogacy, or book in for a private consultation ⁠sass@surrogacyaustralia.org