Navigating the Various Surrogacy Laws in Australia
One of the fundamental aspects of surrogacy in Australia is that the arrangement between the Intended Parents and their Surrogate (the Birth Mother and if she has one, the Birth Mother’s Partner) must be altruistic, meaning that the Surrogate cannot receive any commercial benefit out of this arrangement. However, aside from this core requirement, each state has its own unique criteria which must be met before the parties can enter into a surrogacy arrangement under the law of that state.
It’s not uncommon that Intended Parents and their surrogates to find themselves living in different states in Australia. Aside from the geographical challenges, the other aspect that requires navigating is the differing surrogacy laws of each state. So, to help ease that burden, here’s a snapshot of the main aspects of the various surrogacy laws in Australia:
- Eligibility of Intended Parents for Surrogacy
New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania allow single or married/de facto couples to be Intended Parents as long as they have a medical or social need for surrogacy. That means that most people are able to tick this box, regardless of their relationship status or sexual orientation.
However, in the other states, only heterosexual couples (married or de facto) and single women with a medical need for surrogacy are able to be Intended Parents under the laws of these states.
- Age of Surrogate
All states require the surrogate to be at least 25 years in age before entering into any surrogacy arrangement.
- Prior Pregnancies
While Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania require that the surrogate must have given birth to a child previously, legislation in the other states only limit the eligibility criteria to the 25 year age requirement mentioned above.
Our practice is focused on surrogacy in NSW and in order for NSW legislation to apply to your surrogacy arrangement, the Intended Parents need to be NSW residents at the time of the hearing of the application for parentage order.
Current surrogacy laws are still evolving and until there is a uniform surrogacy legislation in Australia, hopeful Intended Parents have considered moving and indeed ultimately moved interstate due to the more favourable legislation in NSW. If this is a situation that applies to you or is something you’re considering, please get in touch and we’d gladly help you navigate the challenges associated with interstate surrogacy.
For more information on our surrogacy services and quotes on our professional fees, please contact us or visit our quoting page. One of our experienced surrogacy lawyers would be more than happy to get in touch to see how we can best assist you along your journey.