Surrogacy – Basics Of Surrogacy In Australia

Surrogacy is when a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple. In Australia, gestational surrogacy is the most common form. This means that the surrogate’s egg is not used in conception, and so she is not the biological mother. The embryo may be created using the sperm and egg of the intended parents, or donor embryos may be used.

Surrogacy can be a timely and emotional process, and is not a decision that should be entered lightly. However, many parents have found happiness by creating a family through surrogacy.

Why Choose Surrogacy?

People choose surrogacy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Health conditions that make pregnancy or birth dangerous
  • Recurrent miscarriages
  • Abnormal or absent uterus
  • Failed IVF
  • Being in a same-sex relationship

The Law Surrounding Surrogacy In Australia

In Australia, commercial surrogacy is illegal. Although technically legal in the Northern Territory, it is not a process that occurs due to the governing of fertility centres in the area.

Altruistic surrogacy, which occurs without financial benefit to the surrogate, is legal in Australia. In Western Australia and South Australia, altruistic surrogacy is legal only for straight couples. In both these areas, surrogacy is not legal for single people or same sex couples.

In Tasmania, the law states that the surrogate must be at least 25 years old and it cannot be her first pregnancy.

It is illegal to pay a surrogate in Australia. You will be expected to cover medical bills and any other out of pocket expenses, but you cannot enter into a financial agreement above and beyond this.

How Long Will Surrogacy Take?

Surrogacy is not a quick and easy way of having a child. Finding a surrogate can take a long time. You may be asking friends and family if they will be a surrogate for you, and it is a big decision that people will want to mill over. It is illegal to advertise for a surrogate, or for a surrogate to advertise her services. Once you’ve found your surrogate, it could still take months for her to fall pregnant.

Health Risks Of Surrogacy

There are a number of risks involved with surrogacy, mostly connected to the assisted reproductive methods used to achieve the pregnancy. The risks include:

  • Multiple pregnancies
  • General pregnancy risks – these increase with the age of the surrogate
  • Reactions to the fertility drugs

Some couples worry that the surrogate will struggle to relinquish the baby after the birth. However, studies have found that this is a very rare occurrence. Surrogates are encouraged to attend counselling throughout the pregnancy and after the birth, and this helps to prepare them for handing over the baby. Research suggests that most surrogates leave the agreement feeling positive.

Surrogacy contracts are not legally binding. The birth mother is legally considered to be the mother of the child, even if they do not share genetics. Depending on where in the country you live, you will need to take out a parenting order or adopt the baby to become their legal parent.

Is Surrogacy Worth It?

Surrogacy is not a simple solution to having a child. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly, however it may offer you the best chance to have a child that is genetically related to you or your partner.

More Information On Surrogacy

Due to the differing surrogacy laws across Australia, you should seek legal advice from a family lawyer before you begin your research into surrogacy. A specialist lawyer will be able to advise you of how the laws affect your individual situation.

You could also contact your local IVF facility to request further information about surrogacy.

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BellyBelly.com.au


19 comments

  1. Hi I’m a single male who is looking at my options through surrogacy to become a dad.
    If I can have some information on what options I have to do this. Or what the laws are in Australia in regards to males requesting a surrogate mother

  2. Hi we are a gay couple living in victoria and wondering what are our chances of having a child through surrogacy. Is Darwin an option for us? Please send us some info

      1. Hi, I know it was a few years ago that you posted on here but is there any chance you would still be interested in being a surrogate? My husband & I are desperate after a few failed Ivf rounds.

      1. Hi Jessinta

        That is a fabulous thing that you are offering. I was unable for a long time to have children. I have 2 now. I have a friend who has struggled for years. And she too is lost on where to start.

      2. Hi r u interested in becoming a surrogate for us.. we have gone through IVF over 10 times now and only have one embryo left frozen.. i am now 41 but would really appreciate anyone willing to help us with this process. Please contact me. Thanks KJ

      3. Hi jessinta,
        Wondering if you have thought more about becoming a surrogate or gestational carrier or if you managed to find further information about it. Either way, it’s hard and a huge decision.

      4. Hi Jesinta, I know it’s been a while since you posted on here but is there any chance you would still be interested in being a surrogate? My husband & I are desperate after a few failed Ivf rounds.

    1. Altruistic surrogacy is available to gay couples in Victoria. You can contact your local Victorian IVF clinic for more information to get you started.

  3. Hi guys, my name is Matt and my partner and I are looking for a surrogate as we are a gay couple. This is our life long dream we are in south Australia if anyone cane point us in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Matt

  4. My husband and I cannot have kids due to me having an illness that I need stay on meds for. They do not permit me to get pregnant. We 36 & 31 years old. We are looking for a devoted surrogate to carry a child that we both so desperately want. We have so much love to give!
    Things seems so simple when you’re young and then you grow up and realise your dream has been shattered. This is a long shot – but we thought it was worth a try.

  5. Australian laws regarding surrogacy are strict. It’s great that it’s not prohibited but finding a surrogate mother and the whole process takes lots of time and efforts. And she can’t even get money for her incredible deed. I think it’s not right. Advertising isn’t allowed and how on earth people should look for a surrogate mother? Walking in parks and asking women with kind eyes if they don’t mind to carry a baby for someone for free? I’m happy that we chose a fertility clinic abroad. We have an agreement, so everything is clear and transparent. I feel relief because our surrogate mother will get a reward for what she did for our family.

    1. Hi Emiko, I am curious to know where you did go abroad for your fertility clinic? I’m not sure if it’s rude to ask & I apologise if it is but how much did it cost? Any info would be greatly appreciated

  6. Hi everyone, great article.
    Can anyone offer any advice to me. I’m a single, 38 year old female and would love to have a child from a surrogate. I don’t need the child to be biologically mine. I’ll check out the Surrogacy Australia website but I wouldn’t mind some initial feedback or advice as adoption is not much of an option for my situation and I don’t want to do ivf. Thanks in advance.

  7. Having lost eight pregnancies and two ivf embryos we are panicking. How can we find a surrogate or egg donor when it is illegal to advertise or pay someone? We don’t have anyone who can do this for us.

  8. Hello my name is Crystal I’m 37 years old and my dream is to be able to carry a baby for a couple.
    I have my own children and this is chance for me to do something wonderful, fulfilling and rewarding. If you are interested please email me [email protected].
    Kind regards
    Crystal

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