By the time you have your baby in your arms, you’ve spent considerable money on IVF, legal expenses, counselling and pregnancy and birth expenses for your surrogate…not to mention decorating the nursery and buying size 0000 onesies! I imagine you’re probably a bit worn out, financially, and more than ready to settle down with your new family.
But what about the Parentage Order?! You need to apply for the Parentage Order, to transfer parentage from the surrogate and her partner to the intended parents, and to get the Birth Certificate re-issued with your names listed as parents. Usually that means more lawyer fees… but did you know that there’s no requirement to have a lawyer represent you for your Parentage Order? You can choose to do it all yourself! Read below for my tips on preparing your own Parentage Order application, and how you can get the help you need without spending a fortune.
In each State, there are requirements that you must meet before applying for a Parentage Order. You should have a look at the law that applies in your State:
New South Wales: Surrogacy Act 2010
Queensland: Surrogacy Act 2010
Victoria: Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008
South Australia: Family Relationships Act 1974
Tasmania: Surrogacy Act 2012
ACT: Parentage Act 2004
Western Australia: Surrogacy Act 2008
Note that legislation is often updated, and surrogacy law reform is expected in WA, SA, Victoria and NT in the coming year or two. If you’re looking for the most up-to-date legislation, you can usually find it by googling the name of the law and the State – for example ‘surrogacy act nsw.’
If you are in Victoria, you are extra lucky because there is a DIY Parentage Order kit on the County Court website.
The documents required for the Application include:
- The Application. You should search the Court in your State for template forms, and call the Court Registry and ask them for assistance.
- An Affidavit from the Intended Parents;
- An Affidavit from the surrogate and her partner;
- A Certified Copy of the baby’s Birth Certificate;
- The Court filing fee (most States charge a fee, usually between $400 and $1,200).
The general criteria of a Parentage Order are listed within the legislation for each State – you should read the legislation and look for sections called ‘Application for Parentage Order’ and similar. In NSW, for example, you should pay attention to Division 4 – Preconditions to making a Parentage Order. You will see that a Parentage Order requires certain preconditions to have been met – including that the parties obtained legal advice and had counselling about the arrangement, and evidence that it was altruistic and that the surrogate and her partner consent to the Order being made.
All of this might seem overwhelming, and that’s understandable. Remember that lawyers have been trained to read, analyse and apply legislation. If you would like to prepare the Application yourself, there are ways that you can do it, with a lawyer’s assistance, and without a large bill at the end.
I provide a DIY Parentage Order Legal Advice Package. It allows you to complete the Application yourself, and have me as your personal guide through the process. The Package includes:
- A 30-minute Skype Consult to advise you on the Application process and everything you need to get you started;
- A tailored DIY Parentage Order Tip Sheet, outlining the Application requirements in your State and what you need to do to complete your Application;
- Once you have completed the Application and Affidavits for your Application, I will read, review and provide advice for any amendments, and to get you ready to submit your Application to the Court.
If you would like to know more about the DIY Package, you can contact me any time in the lead up to your baby’s birth, or shortly afterwards. No matter where you are in Australia, I can help you prepare your own Parentage Order.