Applying for a Substitute Parentage Order in Victoria.

After a baby is born through an Victorian surrogacy arrangement, a Substitute Parentage Order is required to transfer parentage from the surrogate and her partner to the intended parents.

If you are entering a surrogacy arrangement in Victoria, you can read more about the Victorian surrogacy laws and processes. You can also find 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.

If you are nearing the end of the surrogacy pregnancy, you will need to think about birth planning and hospital management of the surrogacy birth.

When the baby is born, the surrogate and her partner register the baby’s birth in the State where the baby is born. They can register the baby with a name chosen by the intended parents.

The surrogate and her partner are listed as the baby’s parents on the birth certificate.

Once the birth certificate is issued, the intended parents must apply for  a Substitute Parentage Order through the Supreme Court or County Court of Victoria. The purpose of a Substitute Parentage Order is to transfer parentage from the surrogate and her partner, to the intended parents. This has the effect of providing an Order that recognises the surrogacy arrangement, and who the true parents are. The Order also tells the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in the surrogate’s State, to re-issue the birth certificate with the parents listed, instead of the surrogate and her partner.

For the Court to grant the Substitute Parentage Order, the intended parents will need to provide evidence of the surrogacy arrangement, and that the surrogate and her partner have relinquished care of the baby to the parents. This is usually provided by way of Affidavits from each of the intended parents and the surrogate and her partner.

The Court will need to see evidence that the parties were approved by the Patient Review Panel prior to commencing treatment, and that the treatment occurred within Victoria. Traditional surrogacy arrangements may not have to provide this evidence.

You can start preparing for the Parentage Order application, even before the birth, by collecting some of the required documents.

If you are pursuing surrogacy in another state, you should refer to the legislation in the state where the intended parents live to understand the requirements that apply to your arrangement.

If you are interested in applying for the Parentage Order yourself, you might be interested in Sarah’s DIY Parentage Order Package.

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.

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.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her 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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