DIY Parentage Order – You Can Do It!

Sarah is the only lawyer in Australia practising exclusively in surrogacy and donor conception, or ‘family creation’ law. A third of Sarah’s clients live in Queensland, and she practices across all states from her home in Melbourne.

If you are new to surrogacy, you can read about how to find a surrogate, or how to become a surrogate yourself. You can also download the free Surrogacy Handbook which explains the processes and options. You can also read a broad overview of surrogacy in Australia.

You can also purchase my book, More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates, the only guide to surrogacy in Australia.

Do you want to do your surrogacy Parentage Order yourself? 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!

In each State, there are requirements that you must meet before applying for a Parentage Order. You can find out more about the surrogacy laws in your State:

New South Wales



South Australia


Australian Capital Territory

Western Australia

Northern Territory

Note that legislation is often updated, and surrogacy law reform is expected in Western Australia and ACT in the coming year or two.

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. 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:

  1. A 30-minute Zoom Consult to advise you on the Application process and everything you need to get you started;
  2. A tailored DIY Parentage Order Tip Sheet, outlining the Application requirements in your State and what you need to do to complete your Application;
  3. 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.

If you are expecting a baby through surrogacy in the coming months, you can take steps to prepare for the Parentage Order even before the baby arrives.

I also provide a Surrogacy Pregnancy and Birth Planning Package, in case you need help navigating and negotiating with hospital and healthcare providers for the pregnancy and birth.

Have some questions about Parentage Order applications and the options? Send me an email!

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford (she/her). I’m a family creation lawyer, practising in surrogacy and donor conception arrangements. I’m an IVF mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for two dads in 2018

I advocate for positive, best practice surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

more than just a baby