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What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is when a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple, gestational surrogacy is the most common form of surrogacy in Australia. This means that the surrogate’s egg is not used in conception and so she is not the biological mother.

The embryo may be created using the sperm and egg of the intended parents, or donor embryos may be used.

Who can be a surrogate mother?

There are a few requirements that need to be met to qualify as a surrogate mother.

Some of these are:

  • They are above the age of 25 years and older
  • They usually have had children, this is important because:
    • They are fertile;
    • They don’t want any more children; and
  • They enjoyed being pregnant. A woman who disliked pregnancy or had a problematic pregnancy does not offer to be a surrogate.
  • Childbirth was is reasonably straightforward. A woman who has had long deliveries or caesareans rarely want to be surrogates

Why choose surrogacy?

People choose surrogacy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Infertility. In Australia it is estimated that 1 in 6 couples struggles with infertility
  • Failed IVF
  • Being in a same-sex relationship
  • They are single

There are several reasons why a woman may need surrogacy such as health conditions that make pregnancy or birth dangerous. Research has shown some of the more common issues for why women need a surrogate mother are:

  • Heart condition
  • Cancer survivors
  • Blood autoimmune issues
  • Hysterectomy

Unregulated surrogacy 

The international commercial surrogacy market can be, and is being, used by predators and traders exploiting huge loopholes in the law and exposing vulnerable surrogates and children.

Chief Judge Pascoe of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia has called on developed countries with an effective rule of law to ban international surrogacy, but allow the practice domestically so it could be properly regulated and supervised. As such, other countries could be approved if they had a minimum standards, shared details of black listed applicants and signed up to relevant human rights conventions. 

Contact Slater and Gordon

Slater and Gordon’s surrogacy lawyers have acted for a number of clients who were either the intended parents or surrogate. 

Surrogacy Lawyers

If you have a question about your surrogacy legal rights, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and we’ll be in touch with you very soon.

Enquire now