What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy refers to the process where a woman carries a pregnancy and gives birth to a child on behalf of another person or a couple.

Surrogacy can be “traditional”, where a surrogate mother is inseminated with the sperm of the intended father or a donor, or “gestational” – a modern version which utilises modern medical technology (like In-Vitro Fertilisation) to fertilise a female egg and to transfer the resulting embryo into the uterus of the surrogate.

Can I do this in New South Wales?

Yes, however there are limitations and there is a set process that you have to go through. Generally speaking, you must have a medical or social need for surrogacy, the surrogacy must be altrustic, in writing, and all parties must have had counselling and legal advice.


This means that other than the surrogate mother’s reasonable costs of the surrogacy, no further payment is made  to the surrogate mother.

A commercial surrogacy arrangement is illegal and carries penalties of up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $110,000.

What is the process like?

Generally the process is:

  1. Obtain confirmation from your doctors that you have a medical or social need for surrogacy;
  2. Find a surrogate who is prepared to enter into an altruistic surrogacy arrangement with you;
  3. Have the surrogate assessed by your doctors;
  4. Have the surrogacy arrangement drafted;
  5. All parties to get pre-surrogacy counselling and legal advice;
  6. Execute the written surrogacy arrangement;
  7. Undergo the medical procedure to transfer the embryo into your surrogate;
  8. When the child is born, all parties must receive further counselling; and
  9. Prepare and file a parentage application in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Who else do I need to talk to?

You should speak with your doctors and fertility professionals who deal with this area, such as IVF Australia. You can also get more information and support from groups such as Surrogacy Australia.

Surrogacy with Adams & Partners Lawyers

Given that there are many steps, it is critical that you get the right legal advice and the right people to guide you through the process. Kenneth Ti from our office has assisted a number of clients, both intended parents and surrogates, with these matters, and understands the issues and the process well.

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