If you are an intended parent living in Queensland or a surrogate carrying for Queensland intended parents, the Surrogacy Act 2010 applies to you.
The criteria for surrogacy in QLD includes:
- That the intended parents have a social or medical need for surrogacy. This includes same sex male couples, and opposite sex couples who cannot conceive or carry a baby themselves.
- That the birth mother is over 25 years of age.
- Each of the intended parents must be at least 25 years of age.
- That the arrangement is altruistic. The intended parents must cover the birth mother’s out of pocket expenses in accordance with the law. Commercial surrogacy is illegal.
- That the parties have undergone counselling about the arrangement with a qualified counsellor.
- That the parties have obtained legal advice about the arrangement.
- There must be a written Surrogacy Agreement signed by all the parties.
Queensland intended parents can seek IVF treatment outside QLD – there is no requirement that the treatment must occur on home soil. However, most other States have restrictions on whether their clinics can treat patients from interstate. Generally speaking, QLD residents can seek treatment in NSW (and vice-versa), and even overseas, and a QLD court will make a Parentage Order if the surrogacy arrangement satisfies all the other criteria. You should speak to a lawyer before pursuing treatment options outside of your State.
Women need not have had their own child before becoming a surrogate. However, whilst this is not a legal requirement, clinics and counsellors will still need to approve the arrangement.
It is illegal to advertise for a surrogate in QLD, and it is illegal for someone to publish anything that indicates they are willing to be a surrogate for someone else. Read more about how you can find a surrogate in Australia.
It is illegal for QLD residents to enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements, even where those arrangements are overseas. There are penalties for entering into a commercial arrangement – as far as I am aware, there have been no prosecutions or convictions of any intended parents engaging in overseas commercial surrogacy.
If you would like to know more about how surrogacy works in Australia and Queensland, you might like to download the Handbook, or book in for a consult with Sarah below.