The word surrogate means that a person trying to achieve output for another person. This person is simply a replacement. So in surrogate parenting, a married couple finds a substitute person to carry their child. Usually, these are parents who are not wanting to bear the child themselves. They can be physically unfit or they might have some medical illness which can be transferred to their child.
For this purpose, a healthy surrogate mother is found. Thanks to advancement in medical technology, there is no need for physical contact between male parent and the surrogate mother. Sometimes both egg and the sperm are from the couple and the third person just carries there child. But commonly the egg is from the third person.
The surrogacy laws in Australia are complicated. This process can personal contractual between parents and the surrogate where payment is not involved. Or it is a commercial agreement. The agreements of commercial surrogacy in Australia have some pre-conditions, the conditions are
- The surrogate volunteer should be at least 25 years of age and less than 38 years. And she should have given birth to at least one child.
- There should be a written agreement signed by all partied involved.
- The parties must have spoken to a counsellor. They also have to take legal advice from a solicitor at least 3 months before signing the agreement.
- You will have to obtain advice from a solicitor before surrogacy and before applying for parenting order.
- You must be medically assessed to be parents to the child born to a surrogate.
- The Reproductive Technology Council must approve the agreement of surrogacy.
- This agreement must be signed before the surrogate becomes pregnant. There can be other conditions if a fertility clinic is involved.
The parenting order:
Surrogacy in Australia have different rules. The parents arrange a surrogate to give birth to their child. They will have to apply for a parenting order from the court. The time of this application is different in different states. For instance, in the Family Court of Western Australia, this application is submitted after the 28 days of the birth of the child, and it should be before 6 months after the birth.
In this order, the court looks for the best interest of the child. In many cases, the arranged parents are made the official parents of the child. The result of this parenting order is that the arranged parents will be treated as the original parents of the child.
Is surrogacy legal in Australia?
The surrogacy laws in Australia are a bit complex. They might vary from state to state. We have tried to explain the basic implementation of surrogacy laws in Australia.
There are two types of surrogacy one Altruistic surrogacy and commercial surrogacy.
In Altruistic surrogacy, a woman carries the child of married couples as a volunteer she does not makes any profit out of it. This type of surrogacy is not illegal in Australia. However, it is not legal for singles or gay couples.
The commercial surrogacy is illegal in all parts of Australia, it is legal in only Northern territory as there are no legislations. You cannot make profit through surrogacy.
You can do commercial surrogacy at international level where a professional surrogacy agency is involved. In Queensland, New south wales and in the ACT the international commercial surrogacy is also illegal. In 2014 a handicapped child was born to a gestational carrier, after this event the surrogacy was banned in Thailand. It was a good source of surrogate mothers for Australian couples. Still it is thriving in most of the jurisdictions.
The commercial surrogacy must be international or trans-national. Which can be a problem for many Australia families. The Australian Department of Home Affairs has the responsibility to look after surrogacy in Australia. But the Australian government have given some support by reducing the travel and medical expenses.
How much does surrogacy cost in Australia?
The cost of this process varies from state to state. When a woman is ready to help you in giving birth to your child, you will have to take care of all of her needs. You must bear the cost of her medical expenses and some other basic needs that a pregnant woman needs. Also, you will be responsible for her delivery charges. This cost can be anywhere between 15,000 dollars and 120,000 dollars. This is the surrogacy Australia cost.
Also, if it is commercial surrogate the price starts at least from 70,000 dollars.
How can Mackay family lawyers help?
In surrogacy, there is a need of proper legal agreement. We will create an authentic agreement for you. After the birth of the child, you will have to apply for a parenting order to become the official parents of the child. It is easy to get this order but sometimes it can get complex. We can help you to get out of this problem
A problem of discharge order can also arise. In this order, an interested person will apply for a discharge order. In this order he may claim that surrogacy was done to gain profit If it is granted then you will no longer be parents to the child. It is not good to take away the child from his parents, If you work with us you will not have to worry about this issue.