I get asked this question a lot! It’s understandable why… we have a whole heap of courts in Australia, and sometimes it can get confusing!
In New South Wales, the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) says that a parentage order can be sought from the Supreme Court of New South Wales. We’ve talked about this before on this blog, but to refresh you, a parentage order is an order that tells the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages to make changes to the birth certificate of a child, that the intended parents are to be recorded as the parents of a child in substitution of the birth parents.
Therefore the Family Court doesn’t get involved in this process!
That doesn’t meant that the Family Court can’t get involved, though… the Family Court can get involved, but it doesn’t have the power to give parentage orders. Instead, the Family Court has the power to make parentage orders, which sets out who has care of the child and who can make decisions on behalf of the child.
The Family Court would probably only get involved in a few situations – for example, where the intended parents have broken up, or where the Supreme Court of New South Wales is unable to make a parentage order. Theoretically, the Family Court can also get involved if the birth parents wishes to spend time with the child!
The Family Court also might get involved if the intended parents did the surrogacy abroad… but that’s a situation for another day!