Single Parent Surrogacy

Are you a single intended parent considering surrogacy to grow your family? The good news is that mostly, there are no barriers to single intended parents entering into a surrogacy arrangement in Australia or overseas.

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

What’s the law?

Single intended parents can easily pursue surrogacy in most States in Australia. The bad news is for those living in Western Australia, where you need to be in a partnered relationship to qualify for surrogacy (gay couples are also prohibited in WA).

There are law reform developments in Western Australia which will allow gay couples and single men to pursue surrogacy as well hopefully coming in 2021/2022.

In all other States, you don’t need to be partnered to enter into a surrogacy arrangement.

If you are an intended parent, you can contact me below to talk about the options and processes. You can also find more information about the State surrogacy laws.

I need a donor (or two) and a surrogate – where do I start?

Within Australia, there are a few options for finding a donor – including clinic-recruited donors, or family or friends, and options like Egg Donation Australia. A donor that is known, or open to contact, is generally what is considered best for the child’s interests. You can find out more about egg donor options.

You might like to read more about how to find a surrogate in Australia.

Will a surrogate carry for a single intended parent?

There are surrogates that have preferences for carrying for a gay couple, or a woman who has survived cancer, or someone with no children. Likewise, some surrogates are keen to support a single intended parent. The difficulty in Australia is not the preference, it is the lack of women willing to be surrogates. Half of Australian surrogates are known to the intended parents already – family or friends. The other half met their intended parents through social media and forums. Being single is not a barrier of itself to finding a surrogate.

I’m considering going overseas for surrogacy. Is being single a barrier?

There are a number of overseas jurisdictions that will support a single intended parent, including many States in the US, and Canada. Agencies can also assist you to find donors. In most cases, the birth certificate can list one parent only, with no problems. You will need to find out if you will be able to apply for Citizenship by Descent for the baby but that fact of your singledom should not be a barrier. You should get legal advice in Australia and in your destination country before proceeding.

There are forums and social media groups set up to support single parents, including those who have become parents through surrogacy. Reach out and connect with other parents and those who share your experiences. There’s nothing like shared experiences to support you through the journey.

If you would like to know more about surrogacy and donor conception,  you can read more on the Blog and listen to stories on the Surrogacy Podcast, including Ric from WA who is a single intended parent, and both Marnie and Phillipa are single intended parents.

Sarah has published a book, More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates, the only guide to surrogacy in Australia.

You can find more information in the free Surrogacy Handbook, reading articles in the Blog, by listening to more episodes of the Surrogacy Podcast. You can also book in for a consult with me below, and check out the legal services I provide.

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

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