International Surrogacy Arrangements

Are you considering surrogacy options overseas? You need to do your research and consider the laws, options and processes. Be prepared to take your time and research, research, research!

What are the laws about surrogacy?

There are various laws in Australia dealing with surrogacy – you can read more in these posts. Overseas, there are some countries that have well-defined surrogacy laws and regulations, and others which are basically unregulated. Beware that the laws can change, both in Australia and overseas. Altruistic surrogacy is legal across Australia; commercial surrogacy is illegal across Australia and in some States, residents are also prohibited from engaging in commercial surrogacy overseas.

What is international surrogacy?

International surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman in another country carries a baby with the intention that the intended parents will raise the child. There are several countries that facilitate surrogacy for Australian intended parents, including the United States, Canada, Ukraine and Greece. Most options overseas involve commercial surrogacy; there are some options for altruistic surrogacy. There are different ethical considerations for any sort of surrogacy, and you should consider how you can do it and make sure no one is being exploited.

How do we do it?

Most intended parents will start by researching overseas surrogacy destinations, agencies and fertility clinics. Many intended parents will comment that they’ve spent months researching and having multiple consults with service providers and consultants overseas. You can read my thoughts on researching overseas options and doing your due diligence without being exploited.

How do we bring the baby into Australia?

There are different processes, depending on your circumstances and the country where baby was born. Generally speaking, parents will need to apply for a passport for the baby from the destination country, then apply for a visa to bring baby into Australia. You can also apply for Australian Citizenship by Descent so that baby can be granted citizenship and remain within Australia.

What do we need?

You need to get legal advice about your particular circumstances. Sarah provides an International Surrogacy Arrangement Package, which includes:

  •  A Zoom consult to discuss your particular circumstances, options and processes for international surrogacy
  •  An information sheet providing you with step by step details for bringing baby home, as well as links and resources that you will need.

Anything else?

You will have a lawyer in your destination country. I can review agency, surrogacy and donor contracts on request. You can book a consult below.

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

Book an initial 30 minute consult