If you are thinking of entering into a surrogacy agreement, where a woman carries a child for another person or couple, it is a complex area of Family Law. Both the surrogate and intended parents are required to receive legal advice from skilled IVF lawyers.
As your experienced IVF Lawyer, Deanna can offer you easy-to-understand legal advice and can draft a surrogacy agreement and correspond with the other lawyer on your behalf. This will take some of the stress and uncertainty out of the process for you.
In all of Australia, commercial surrogacy arrangements are illegal. A surrogate may not receive payment or other benefits and there are legal consequences including fine and imprisonment.
In Victoria, surrogates can however be reimbursed for expenses related to the pregnancy including medical costs, counselling, travel and loss of earnings. This is something that we can discuss in more detail in your consultation with your IVF Lawyer.
Did you know?
Deanna is experienced in all areas of fertility law including surrogacy. She can help you navigate the complexity and help provide peace of mind and protection at all stages.
How much does Surrogacy cost?
This depends on many factors so it is difficult to give an exact answer.
Intended Parents should expect to cover the expenses incurred by the surrogate and her partner in relation to the surrogacy arrangement, pregnancy and birth.
You should expect surrogacy in Australia to cost anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000.
The major variable is the cost of fertility treatment, which will depend on what sort of treatment you require and the success of any treatment and when the surrogate eventually falls pregnant.
This cost can seem overwhelming at first but consider that it will not all be incurred at once and depending on your situation may be incurred over several years.
Some costs may be payable before conception, other costs during the pregnancy and then incurred after the birth.
Surrogacy is altruistic in Australia which means surrogates are not paid in this country.
They should not be out of pocket for surrogacy-related expenses, but they do not receive a payment, fee, reward or material benefit for being a surrogate.
Costs will include Fertility treatment, legal advice, counselling and psychological assessments and evaluations, pregnancy and birth and a parentage order.
There may be other costs to consider such as travel costs, life insurance, loss of income for the surrogate and her partner, allied health treatment and pre-natal supplements.
Due to the restrictions in Australia many Australians do travel overseas for surrogacy. This is called international surrogacy.
What is a Surrogacy Arrangement?
Surrogacy arrangements are not enforceable or binding on the parties except for the reimbursement of expenses.
If upon the child’s birth an intended parent/s chose not to take the child or the surrogate chose not to hand the child to the other party, neither party can enforce the surrogacy agreement.
Steps may be taken in the Federal Circuit and Family Law Courts, if a surrogate chose to not hand over the child.
Written agreements are not enforceable. Parties may decide to enter into a written agreement to record the intention of all parties to the surrogacy arrangement. This can describe things such as the payment of expenses and the intention to apply for a Substitute Parentage Order once the child is born.
Written agreements may assist all parties to remember what was discussed and agreed upon if there is later an issue or dispute.
Book a free initial consultation with Deanna Elsner, Advocate Family Lawyer’s highly skilled IVF Lawyer