Surrogacy is legal in Victoria, and every State in Australia. Victorian surrogacy arrangements are regulated by the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008. The law was reviewed in 2018-9, and were expected to be reformed in the coming year. Read more about the Review and stay up to date with the law reform. New Assisted Reproductive Treatment Regulations were made in 2019.
The criteria for surrogacy in Victoria includes:
- The intended parents must 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. Read more about qualifying for surrogacy.
- The surrogate must be over 25 years of age.
- The surrogate must have had at least one child of her own.
- The arrangement must be altruistic. The intended parents must cover the surrogate’s out of pocket expenses in accordance with the law. Commercial surrogacy is illegal.
- The parties must have undergone counselling about the arrangement.
- The parties must have obtained legal advice about the arrangement.
- If the arrangement is a gestational surrogacy arrangement (ie. where the surrogate conceives with an embryo created with an egg from the Intended Mother or a donor) then the parties must seek approval from the Patient Review Panel prior to treatment.
- Traditional Surrogacy arrangements (where the surrogate conceives with her own egg) are legal, but cannot be facilitated by an IVF clinic (there may be exceptions to this – contact me if you would like to discuss in more detail). This means the conception occurs via home insemination. Some clinics will tell you that only gestational surrogacy is legal – this is not true.
- The treatment – specifically the embryo transfer – must take place in a Victorian registered ART provider. If the embryo transfer occurs outside Victoria, the intended parents may not be able to obtain a Surrogacy Parentage Order after the baby is born.
- Written surrogacy agreements are not a requirement in Victoria, but this may change with the upcoming legislative reforms.
It is illegal to advertise for a surrogate in Victoria. It is not illegal for Victorian intended parents to engage in commercial surrogacy overseas.
You can read about the steps to follow once you have a surrogate, or consider what you need to do to find a surrogate. You can also read a broad overview of surrogacy in Australia.
If you’re from another state, you can find all the details of the surrogacy laws that apply to you.
If you would like to know more about how surrogacy works in Australia and Victoria, you might like to download the free Surrogacy Handbook, or book in for a consult with Sarah below.
If you are considering becoming a surrogate, you can book in for a free initial consult with me to discuss the process and what to expect.
You can find more information in the free Surrogacy Handbook, reading articles in the Blog, by listening to more episodes of the Podcast. You can also book in for a consult with me below.
Sarah can assist with surrogacy arrangements across all states, including Victoria and cross-border arrangements. You can contact me here. All consults are conducted over Zoom and email. You can book in for a consult with me below, and check out the legal services I provide.