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Surrogacy

Having someone else carry your child may seem like a daunting prospect. Our family lawyers will minimise risks and protect your rights throughout the process.

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Cost of a Family Lawyer

Why you need a family lawyer for
surrogacy

Financial Assets

Ensuring the process is completed legally

Surrogacy arrangements must follow a legal process in Australia. Commercial arrangements are illegal. Before beginning the surrogacy process, you should seek legal advice to determine whether you are positioned to undergo the process legally. We can also assist you in filing legal paperwork and resolving any issues that arise along the way.

Timely Legal Services

Educating you and protecting your rights

First-time intended parents and surrogates may not be aware of the complicated aspects of the surrogacy process that may present risks for each party. A family lawyer can talk you through the process to help anticipate any risks likely to apply to your situation. We’ll protect your rights along the way to help you move forward with your surrogacy journey as smoothly as possible.

Dispute Resolution

Helping you understand surrogacy laws

Having someone else carry your child may seem like a daunting prospect, and surrogacy laws will vary from state to state. Throughout the surrogacy process, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your partner and the surrogate. We can help you understand surrogacy laws so you are well informed to make decisions that will positively impact your family.

Assisting you in drafting and finalising contracts

Before any medical processes begin, it is important to seek legal assistance to draft and finalise your surrogacy contract. This contract covers all elements of your surrogacy journey, including compensation for your surrogate, expectations of the intended parents and the surrogate, risks and liabilities for all parties, and more.

Frequently asked questions

The parties seeking the surrogate (you and your spouse) cannot use the same lawyer as the surrogate. This ensures that both parties’ interests are independently protected and guarantees the surrogacy journey is fair and equitable for all parties.
An altruistic surrogacy is a surrogacy arrangement where the birth mother does not receive payment for carrying your child. Altruistic surrogacies are the only surrogacy arrangements that are legal in Australia.
A surrogacy arrangement is commercial if the birth mother receives payment, reward or other benefit other than the reimbursement of the birth mother’s surrogacy costs. Examples of surrogacy costs which are allowed to be paid to the birth mother are:

- Reasonable medical costs for the birth mother’s attempts to become pregnant (for example, doctors’ appointments);
- Any insurance premiums payable for health, disability or life insurance that are only required because of the surrogacy arrangement;
- Reasonable costs of counselling associated with the surrogacy arrangement (before and after the birth);
- Reasonable legal cost for the birth mother and her spouse (if she has one) relating to the surrogacy arrangement and the transfer of parentage;
- The value of the birth mother’s lost earning because of leave taken that related to the pregnancy; and
- Other reasonable costs such as travel expenses.

Any other payments made outside the above descriptions may result in your surrogacy arrangement being deemed illegal. If a child is born as a result of an illegal commercial surrogacy in Australia, the Childrens Court will not be able to make a parentage order.
A parentage order is a court order transferring parentage from the surrogate and her partner to the intended parents as part of their surrogacy arrangement.
A surrogacy agreement is an agreement entered into by the birth mother and her partner (if she has one) and the intended parents. The agreement will eventually be included with the intended parents’ application to the court for a parentage order. A surrogacy agreement should not be entered into until:

- The birth mother (and her partner if she has one) receive independent legal advice;
- The intended parents receive independent legal advice;
- The birth mother (and her partner if she has one) receive counselling; and
- The intended parents receive counselling.

It is important to note that surrogacy agreements are not legally enforceable, and can only be entered into before the surrogate becomes pregnant.
The birth mother has the same rights to manage her pregnancy and birth as any other pregnant woman. This means that even if the surrogacy agreement states the birth mother is to manage the pregnancy in a certain manner, this is not legally binding and she may make decisions that are not listed in the agreement.
After the birth, the surrogate and her partner (if she has one) are considered the legal parents of the child. For you to be considered the legal parents of the child, you need to apply to the Childrens Court for an order which states you are the legal parent of the child. This is known as a parentage order. In Queensland, you cannot apply for a parentage order until the child is born.
You can make an application for a parentage order to the Childrens Court when the child is between 28 days and six months old.
What the court considers most important is the wellbeing and bests interests of the child born as a result of the surrogacy arrangement, both throughout childhood and for the rest of the child’s life. The judge aims to ensure a child born of a surrogacy arrangement is to be cared for in a way that:

- Ensures a safe, stable and nurturing family and home life;
- Promotes openness and honesty about the child’s birth parentage; and
- Promotes the development of the child’s emotional, mental, physical and social wellbeing.

Why choose us

We will tell you the truth at all times

We will be honest with you about your prospects of success, issues that arise or the commercial viability of your matter. The first time you come to see us, we will tell you whether you even need a lawyer.

We will respect you and your situation

Our job is not to judge anything you may have done. Our job is to guide your matter and actions moving forward to give you the best possible outcome for you, both legally and personally.

We will listen and understand your needs

We will hear not just what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it. We will tell you what you need to do to achieve the outcome you are after, legally, practically and emotionally.

We will stand by you all the way

Your matter doesn’t finish once a court order has been made. We will stay on your matter right up until all of the outstanding issues have been dealt with and the court orders are complied with.

We can help you through the surrogacy process.

Forge Legal’s family lawyers are specialists in all areas of family law and can assist you with all legal matters in the surrogacy process.

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