International Surrogacy Arrangements

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There is a growing number of people going overseas to have their baby through commercial surrogacy arrangements,[1] however the protections are not the same as those afforded in Australia and there are concerns regarding the illegality of entering commercial surrogacy arrangements, whether locally in Australia or overseas.

The Attorney-General has charged the Family Law Council with examining how issues of surrogacy are dealt with by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

Surrogacy within Family Law is a complex and emerging issue that needs careful consideration as an increasing number of Australian families are being formed using artificial reproductive technology. [2]

Our laws need to be responsive to new family situations as well as provide adequate protections for children involved. [3]

The Council has been asked to consider, under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), whether “there any amendments that would assist the family courts to determine the parentage of children born as a result of assisted reproductive technology, including surrogacy, where the State and Territory Acts do not apply?”[4]

The Council has been given until December 2013 to report back on the legal issues surrounding children born into families via surrogacy.




[1] Reported in a number of Australian newspapers including article by Marriner, C and Aston, A: “Booming surrogacy demand sparks exploitation fears”. Sydney Morning Herald. 2 September 2012; and   other articles in WA today and Herald Sun.

[4] Attorney-General’s Department website, (Accessed 2 September 2012).

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