If you’re expecting a baby through an Australian surrogacy arrangement, you’ll be keen to make sure you have done everything to prepare for the Parentage Order application after the birth.

Firstly, if you are not sure what I’m talking about, this post explains Parentage Orders and the purpose of them in an Australian surrogacy arrangement.

Secondly, each state has a different process for applying for a Parentage Order. Don’t get too tied up in your preparations without first checking to see what is involved in your circumstances.

Thirdly, there are options to prepare the Parentage Order application yourself with my DIY Parentage Order option, or have a lawyer complete the application for you.

Remember – for most States, you have up to 6 months after the birth to apply for a Parentage Order (or 12 months in South Australia). You can start preparing at anytime, even before the birth, just keep the deadline in mind. The Application and supporting documents can take at least a month or two to get sorted.

Documents you might need

These are some of the documents you may need as part of your Parentage Order application, remembering that each State has different application requirements:

  • A signed and dated copy of the Surrogacy Agreement (Victorian teams may not have a written agreement)
  • A copy of each of the legal advice letters or statements provided by the lawyers before everyone signed the Agreement
  • The Counselling Report from the pre-surrogacy counsellor
  • For Victorian intended parents, the approval certificate from the Patient Review Panel. For West Australian intended parents, evidence of having been approved by the Reproductive Technology Council.
  • If you needed a surrogate for medical reasons, you should have a letter from your treating doctor as to why you needed a surrogate. This might be from your fertility specialist.
  • The baby’s Birth Certificate. You can read more about registering the baby’s birth and naming the baby.
  • Certified copies of the intended parents’ drivers licenses.
  • A letter from your IVF clinic confirming that they performed an embryo transfer and the date of the transfer, and that it resulted in a pregnancy with the estimated due date.

Post-Surrogacy Counselling

Several States require the parties to have further counselling after the birth, and before applying for a Parentage Order. You can make enquiries with your previous counsellor about this, but there are some requirements that the post-surrogacy counsellor must be independent of the pre-surrogacy counsellor. You can generally book the post-surrogacy counselling in for around six weeks after the birth. It is best to get advice about the requirements before booking anything in.

Centrelink and Medicare

Before the Parentage Order is granted, you can usually apply for Centrelink’s Paid Parental Leave and Medicare benefits for the baby. You can read more about both those things in this post.

Not sure and feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry – you can get in touch any time and we can plan it out.

If you’re still waiting for baby to arrive, you can read more about planning a surrogacy birth, and the fourth trimester.

You can also find more information on the Blog, by listening to more episodes of the Podcast. You can also book in for a consult with me 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.

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