News - Bringing up Baby - Surrogacy Arrangements in Queensland

 

What a positive aspect to our area of practice.  It is a pure delight to help people build families through Surrogacy Arrangements.  

 

What is Surrogacy?  

Surrogacy is when a woman (the birth mother or the surrogate mother) carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple (the intended parent/s), who then raise the child, as their own.  

 

The Law in Queensland  

Non-commercial surrogacy (also known as altruistic surrogacy) is now legal in Queensland.  The Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld) provides the guiding principles and key concepts of surrogacy arrangements and subsequent parentage orders. 

 

Who can be a Surrogate Mother  

  • Any consenting woman over the age of 25 years.  

It is also beneficial to be a woman who: 

  • has already had children (indicative of being fertile);
  • has had reasonably straight forward prior pregnancies and births; and
  • now wants to help people, who are not so fortunate. 

 

Who can be Intended Parents 

  • Any person or couple, including same sex couples, provided he / she is over the age of 25 years and have a medical or social need to parent; and
  • Resident in Queensland. 

 

Why choose Surrogacy?  

People choose surrogacy for a variety of reasons, including:  

  • Infertility.
  • Failed IVF.
  • Same sex relationship.
  • Single.  
  • Any female intended parent/s must satisfy eligibility criteria, relating to a difficulty to conceive, carry and / or give birth. 

 

Counselling  

The birth mother and the intended parent/s must obtain counselling about the surrogacy arrangement and its social and psychological implications, prior to pregnancy and again after the child’s birth, if seeking a parentage order.  

 

Are Surrogacy Agreements enforceable?  

The Surrogacy Act 2010 makes provision for legitimate surrogacy arrangements. Such arrangements are premised upon the consent and continued consent of all parties. However, in Queensland, neither party is bound by the terms of the Agreement. A party’s default may then require consideration under the Family Law Act.   

 

Parentage Orders 

The intended parent/s may apply to the Children’s Court for a Parentage Order.  This Order transfers parentage from the birth mother (and her spouse, if applicable) to the intended parent/s and enables the intended parents to register the child, as if he or she is their own.

 

Commercial Surrogacy  

A birth mother cannot receive payment for giving birth to a child.  An exception is that she is entitled to be reimbursed for her reasonable surrogacy costs, such as medical, legal and counselling costs and lost income.  

Chief Judge Pascoe of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia has called on developed countries to ban international surrogacy but allow the practice domestically so it can be properly regulated and supervised.  

 

Mandatory Legal Advice Required  

It is most important to obtain independent legal advice before entering an Agreement, as to a Surrogacy Arrangement. 

Contact the team at O’Reilly Stevens Lawyers, Cairns Family Law Centre on 07 4031 7133 for more information.