Surrogacy Lawyers Sydney
At Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers our team of surrogacy lawyers can assist individuals who are interested in entering into altruistic surrogacy arrangement. Our team work closely with both intended and surrogate parents through all stages of the surrogacy process – from the preparation of surrogacy agreements pre-birth and obtaining parentage orders once your child is born. Sarah Bevan Surrogacy Lawyers has been at the forefront of the developing surrogacy law since we represented the first same sex parents intended parents in the landmark case applying the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW).
In Australia each state and territory is responsible for their own surrogacy legislation. Each state legislation differs however the common denominator is that all agreements entered into within Australia must be altruistic in nature. This means that irrespective of which state you reside that the surrogacy arrangement that you enter it must be ensured that payment cannot be given to the surrogate for carrying your child.
Surrogacy Prerequisites for interested parties under NSW Legislation:
In NSW surrogacy is regulated under the Surrogacy Act 2010 (the Act) you are able to enter into an altruistic surrogacy arrangement irrespective of your relationship status and sex as long as you have a medical reason that you cannot have a child and the surrogate parents do not receive financial gain. An intended parents is however allowed to reimburse the surrogate for any reasonable costs incurred as a result of the pregnancy such as medical costs. The intended parent/parents must also be an adult and a resident of NSW at the time that they enter into the Surrogacy arrangement. The birth mother at least 25 years of age.
Surrogacy Agreements/ Counselling:
Prior into entering the surrogacy arrangement the act also requires that all parties to the surrogacy enter into a pre-conception surrogacy arrangement. Both the intended parents and surrogate must obtain legal advice with respect to the agreement. This agreement is a requirement that will allow the intended parents to apply for a parentage order through the Supreme Court of NSW. It must be noted that these agreements do not constitute a legally binding contract however.
All parties involved are also required to obtain counselling with a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist who is an accredited member of the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association prior to implantation of the embryo. After the birth of the child the parties are required to obtain further counselling but from an alternative accredited psychologist or psychiatrist who will make a report a report as to the suitability of the child leaving the birth mother and coming into the care of the intended parents.
Surrogacy Parentage Orders:
Under Australian law the birth mother and her husband are the legal parents of a child and are placed on the birth certificate. This is the case even if the embryo implanted into the surrogate does not contain the DNA of the birth mother. For an intended parent to be legally recognized as the birth parents they must make an application for a parentage order with the Supreme Court of NSW at least 30 days after the child is born. They must also have the child in their care when making the application. Once the parentage order is granted then the intended parents can apply for the child’s birth certificate to be amended so that the intended parents are on the certificate.
In New South Wales it is an offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment to enter into an overseas commercial surrogacy arrangement. This does not prevent resident of NSW into entering into an altruistic surrogacy arrangement and it is advised for parents who wish to explore overseas surrogacy to obtain legal advice before entering into an overseas arrangement.
If you have entered into a commercial surrogacy arrangement, whether in Australia or overseas, or are considering doing so, there are potentially many issues you will need to address. If this applies to you, you should obtain advice without delay.
At Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, we understand the importance for people who wish to start or expand their family and committed in you achieving this result. If you and your partner wish to enter into a surrogacy arrangement or need legal advice regarding the process then the team at Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers can assist.