Surrogacy is a sensitive issue and should be approached with a medical and legal team of professionals.

If surrogacy is entered into without proper legal advice, the results can become extremely complicated and the intended parents may end up having no rights to parent the child.

We help families navigate this process safely and with full knowledge of their rights and correct procedures to follow.

What to consider first

Surrogacy is when a woman agrees to carry and birth a baby for another person. When the baby is born, the birth mother hands over custody of the child to the intended or commissioning parents.

There are many legal issues to consider during the process of surrogacy, including:

  • Whether the surrogacy is organised internationally
  • The rights of the birth mother
  • Different laws in different states in Australia
  • How to legally find a qualified surrogate mother
  • How to legally advertise yourself as a surrogate

Before you begin a life-changing process like surrogacy, it is essential to get legal and medical advice, as this can affect the legitimacy of the intended parent’s rights if the law is not followed.

What are the different types of surrogacy?

Traditional surrogacy

This is when a woman provides her own egg for the surrogacy. This practice is not usually available in Australian clinics because the birth mother is biologically related to the child, causing complicated legal issues.

Commercial surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy is when the birth mother is compensated financially for the surrogacy. In Australia, the intended parents may cover the surrogate mother’s medical expenses, but any other type of compensation is illegal.

Altruistic surrogacy

This is where there is no financial compensation for the birth mother, who goes through the pregnancy as an act of kindness. This type of surrogacy is allowed in Australia.

Gestational surrogacy

This is the most common form of surrogacy and involves a sperm and egg being artificially inseminated into the birth mothers uterus. The child is not biologically related to the birth mother.

How to get legal advice about surrogacy in NSW

If you are considering becoming a surrogate or using a surrogate mother, you must get the right legal advice first by engaging a lawyer.

At Raftons, we specialise in family law matters, including surrogacy. We can help you navigate this process safely with minimal risk to yourself and everyone involved.

For more information, contact one of our Sydney offices.

How can I move forward to create parenting arrangements?

If you and your former partner reach an agreement about your child’s living arrangements, you can have these terms written up in a parenting plan or have them turned into a legally binding parenting order.

If you feel that your situation is complicated and can’t be resolved through mediation, you can contact us for advice on how to manage best and find out what your options are.

Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

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