Who are the Affected Parties to a Surrogacy Arrangement
There are a few steps that you need to take before commencing surrogacy, one of which is determining the relevant persons to your surrogacy arrangement. The Surrogacy Act 2010, which is the governing legislation in the state of New South Wales, defines these persons as an “affected party” and includes:
- The birth mother;
- The birth mother’s partner (if any);
- Another birth parent (if any);
- The intended parents.
While not every surrogacy arrangement involves all of the above individuals, it’s a good idea to understand how the law defines them and the role they play in the surrogacy arrangement.
The Birth Mother
Under section 6 of the Surrogacy Act 2010, the birth mother is defined as “the woman who agrees to become pregnant or try to become pregnant with a child, or is pregnant with a child, under the surrogacy arrangement”.
The birth mother is also known as the surrogate and she needs to be at least 25 years old when she enters into the surrogacy arrangement.
While it’s not a legal requirement in NSW that the birth mother has previously had children, it is highly recommended and certainly preferred by the counsellors and IVF clinics.
The Birth Mother’s Partner
The birth mother’s partner is defined as “a birth mother’s spouse or de facto partner at the time when the birth mother enters into a surrogacy arrangement”. It’s important to clarify the nature of any relationship that the birth mother is in because the birth mother’s partner is required to also receive counselling and independent legal advice before entering into the surrogacy arrangement as well as after the child is born.
The Birth Parent
The “birth parent” means “a person (other than an intended parent) who is recognised at law as being a parent of the child at the time when the child is born”.
The Intended Parent
According to legislation, an “intended parent” is “a reference to a person to whom it is agreed the parentage of a child is to be transferred under a surrogacy arrangement”.
The intended parent must be a single person or a member of a couple and each intended parent must be at least 18 years old at the time when they enter into the surrogacy arrangement. There is no partiality in relation to the sexuality of the intended parents in New South Wales.
The above is a basic overview of the various roles and requirements of individuals associated with the surrogacy process. If you’re considering surrogacy either as an intended parent or as a surrogate, please contact us to speak with one of our surrogacy lawyers.
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.