By Simone Cureton
They say it takes a village to raise a child, however in surrogacy world, we say it takes a village to make one. I am fortunate enough to work in one of the brighter areas of law, which involves helping Australian families work with their surrogates and create the family they’ve always wanted.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is an arrangement between a couple/person and a surrogate wherein the surrogate agrees to become pregnant (or seek to become pregnant) and surrender custody of, and the rights in relation to, the child born as a result of the arrangement. Surrogacy is an option for people who are unable to carry their own child and must be ‘eligible’ in accordance with the Surrogacy Act 2019.
In Australia, only altruistic surrogacy is legal. This means that the surrogate mother cannot receive any payment or equivalent material reward. Only the pregnancy related costs (including medical) can be reimbursed.
What are the legal requirements of surrogacy?
In South Australia, the Surrogacy Act 2019 sets out the legislative requirements for the preparation of a Lawful Surrogacy Agreement (‘LSA’). The LSA is not an enforceable document, except in relation to the financial aspect of the Agreement.
It is an important document recognizing the intention of the parties, and is necessary to gain a parentage order after the baby is born.
What is it like being a surrogacy lawyer?
I have the pleasure of acting for many surrogates and intended parent/s on a regular basis. Being a past-surrogate myself, I have a deep understanding of the journey that all parties will go through.
I had the pleasure of acting for Sarah and Ben who entered into a Recognised Surrogacy Agreement with Danni and Troy. Danni carried Sarah and Ben’s child as a traditional surrogate. In 2020, all four adults were blessed with a baby girl, Evie.
In a surrogacy arrangement, following the birth, the surrogate is registered on the birth certificate as the parent. Sarah and Ben made an application for parentage in the Youth Court of South Australia which I helped facilitate. In this matter, I acted for both Danni and Troy, and the parents, Sarah and Ben.
Judge Eldrige made the Order for Parentage formally recognizing Sarah and Ben as Evie’s legal parents. Evie’s birth certificate was then amended by Births, Deaths and Marriages to reflect Sarah and Ben as her parents.
There is nothing quite like seeing a family come together and celebrating an exciting new chapter in their lives. Surrogacy is a team effort, and is exciting, scary and amazing all at the same time! I am passionate about surrogacy in Australia, both educating others and advocating for fulfilling and successful surrogacy arrangements.
If you are interested in this area of law and would like more information, contact us on 08 8632 2777 or email email@example.com.