Family lawyers can play a key role in surrogacy arrangements in Queensland to ensure the process is smooth and stress-free, and most importantly does not become a legal minefield.
Daniel Coates, Director and Principal family lawyer at Parry Coates Family Law, says that when a child is conceived other than naturally it can be a legal minefield as to the rights and interests of each party involved.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is defined as when a woman agrees to be pregnant and carries someone else’s baby until birth.
Daniel says first and foremost, family lawyers must discourage clients from engaging in commercial surrogacy overseas, as this kind of ‘commercial surrogacy’ is illegal in Queensland.
“In this kind of surrogacy, the surrogate is paid a commercial fee. It is legal in some countries like India, Thailand or parts of the United States and can occur illegally in Australia,” he said.
Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld)
The more appropriate form of surrogacy is called ‘altruistic surrogacy’ and is regulated under the Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld).
Daniel says if you are looking at entering into a surrogacy arrangement in Queensland, then it is best to seek expert advice from a specialist surrogacy family lawyer to ensure that the approach is well thought through and each of the parties fully understand the process.
As well as all the legal aspects of surrogacy, the Surrogacy Act requires that all parties obtain significant professional counselling before signing the surrogacy arrangement. A surrogacy guidance report must also be obtained after the child is handed over.
“In the relationship such as surrogacy, it is crucial that the parties involved trust each other and understand their rights, responsibilities and obligations.”
Surrogacy with no formal arrangement
There is the option of entering into surrogacy with no formal arrangement but this is not recommended.
“This is perfectly legal, provided that the surrogacy is altruistic, not commercial. However, without a written surrogacy arrangement in place, a clinic will not treat, and the Children’s Court will not make a parentage order. It is not recommended.
Like other family law agreements, both parties including the birth mother or surrogate and the intended parents must have legal advice before a surrogacy arrangement is signed.
Get surrogacy law advice
Parry Coates Family Law have specialist surrogacy lawyers in Brisbane to provide expert advice and guidance to anyone thinking of entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
Contact us today to organise a private consultation.