The Legalities of Surrogacy You Must Know

By  |  0 Comments

The Legalities of Surrogacy You Must Know

Bringing a child into the world is an exciting decision, but it is not always a simple process. There are many factors that may lead individuals or couples to research the different options available. One of those is surrogacy. It is a complex and highly regulated process, but with the right legal advice can be a reproductive solution. The legalities of surrogacy you must know.

What is Surrogacy?

A surrogacy arrangement is an arrangement between a woman (the birth mother) and another person or couple (the intended parents) where the birth mother agrees to become pregnant with a child for the intended parents. After the baby’s birth, the birth mother gives the baby to the intended parents. (Definition as per Queensland Government)

Types of Surrogacy Arrangements

There are essentially two types of surrogacy arrangements:

  1. Altruistic
  2. Commercial

Altruistic (unpaid) surrogacy is the only arrangement that is legal across all states of Australia. Whilst it is unpaid, the intended parents must cover the expenses of the surrogate with regard to the surrogacy, pregnancy and birth.

Commercial surrogacy arrangements – where a person is paid purely for being a surrogate – are illegal in all Australian states.

Who is Eligible?

The rules on this vary from state to state, however, generally, it can be said that the intended parents must have a social or medical need for surrogacy. This includes singles and couples who cannot conceive or carry a baby.

So this will apply to:

  • Singles or couples who do not have a uterus
  • People who have a uterus but cannot or should not carry a baby

However, as each state has its own legislation, there are circumstances where the above does not apply. For example, in Western Australia, it does not apply to single men or same-sex male couples.

There are also rules regarding the age of an intended surrogate and whether that person has previously carried their own child.

Legal Requirements

There is no Federal legislation dealing with surrogacy in Australia. Each state has its own legislation and surrogacy in Queensland is regulated by the Surrogacy Act Qld (2010).

Once a child is born, the surrogate (and partner) are listed on the birth certificate as the baby’s parents. After the birth, the intended parents will need to apply to the court for a Parentage Order. This order will then transfer the parentage from the birth parents to the intended parents and a new birth certificate will be issued.

In order to obtain a parentage order you will need to complete all the following steps:

  • Seek independent legal advice
  • Obtain counselling
  • Put the agreement in writing
  • Allow the birth mother to manage the pregnancy
  • Register the birth
  • Get a surrogacy guidance report
  • Apply for the parentage order
  • Obtain a final court decision

Surrogacy is a complex matter that requires solicitors who are dedicated to understanding the legislative requirements to achieve positive client outcomes, but it is one way to potentially achieve your dreams of starting a family.


Janet Camilleri is an Australian copywriter and blogger. No matter what she writes, or who she is writing for, Janet aims to amuse, inspire or inform – and sometimes, all three!

[userpro template=postsbyuser user=author postsbyuser_num=4]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.