Becoming a parent through a surrogacy arrangement
Queensland Law enables parentage registration following surrogacy arrangement
The Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld) allows applicants to apply to the Childrens Court of Queensland to have the parentage of a child registered in their name following the birth of a child through a surrogacy arrangement. A parentage order is an order for the transfer of parentage of a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement. This is particularly relevant where couples are unable to conceive or in the case of same sex couples who may be unable to have a child between them.
Child’s best interests paramount
Among the Surrogacy Act’s guiding principles is the principle that the well-being and best interests of a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement are paramount considerations. As well, the autonomy of consenting adults in their private lives is to be respected.
What is a surrogacy arrangement?
A surrogacy arrangement is an arrangement under which a woman (and, if relevant, her spouse) agrees to become pregnant with the intention that any child of the pregnancy will be treated as the child of the other parties to the arrangement. While commercial arrangements are prohibited, the birth mother may be reimbursed for surrogacy costs.
Applying for a parentage order
An application for a parentage order must be made no sooner than 28 days, and no later than six months, after the birth of the child. The court may make a parentage order only upon satisfaction of the matters set out in Section 22 of the Surrogacy Act.
The provisions include requirements that:
- the child has lived with the applicant for at least 28 days before the application is made and continues to live with the applicant;
- there is evidence of a medical or social need for the application;
- the parties have obtained independent legal advice about the surrogacy arrangement and its implications;
- the parties have obtained counselling about the surrogacy arrangement and its social and psychological implications;
- the surrogacy arrangement is with the consent of all parties and made in writing before the child was conceived;
- the surrogacy arrangement is not a commercial arrangement;
- the parties are all at least 25 years old;
- the applicants are resident in Queensland;
- the parties consent to the making of the parentage order and
- a surrogacy guidance report is provided to the Court that supports the making of the order.
If all these requirements are satisfied, The Queensland Children’s Court may grant the application for a parentage order.
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Please note that this article has been prepared by Margaret Miller, partner of Bell Legal Group, for information purposes only. It is not legal advice nor should it be relied upon as such.