Gay dads can pursue surrogacy to grow their family and within Australia or overseas.
Surrogacy is an arrangement between the intended parents and the birth parents, whereby a woman carries a baby with the intention that the intended parents will raise it. There are two types of surrogacy – gestational surrogacy, which involves an embryo created with an egg from one of the intended parents or a donor, and traditional surrogacy which involves the surrogate’s egg. Both types are legal in most parts of Australia.
Altruistic surrogacy is the only legal type of surrogacy available in Australia. A surrogate can be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses but she cannot receive a payment or reward in exchange for being a surrogate. Commercial surrogacy is practiced overseas in several countries, and that is where the intended parents pay the surrogate a fee, on top of her expenses, for carrying a child for them. Commercial surrogacy is illegal across Australia.
Gay couples can pursue surrogacy is almost all States – unfortunately Western Australia only allows heterosexual couples to engage in surrogacy, which means overseas surrogacy is the only option for gay dads in WA. You can read more about State surrogacy laws in Australia.
If you are interested in pursuing surrogacy within Australia, it is important to remember that altruistic surrogacy is all about the relationship. About half of surrogacy arrangements involve pre-existing relationships (friends or relatives) whilst the other half involve ‘new’ relationships – that is, people who have met with the purpose of entering into a surrogacy arrangement. Read more about finding a surrogate in Australia.
Once you have an offer from someone willing to be your surrogate, you can then proceed through the surrogacy process, usually starting with a fertility clinic.
If all of this is seeming a bit daunting, that’s understandable. You might like to download the free Surrogacy Handbook which will give you a broad overview of surrogacy. You can also listen to the Podcast, which includes stories from surrogates and intended parents. Episode 1is me – I carried for gay dads, whilst episode 2 is my intended parents Mike and Nate.
If you’re looking for more advice and support with your surrogacy journey, whether it be overseas or within Australia, get in touch via the link below.