The Australian Surrogacy Podcast Episode 78: Anne.

Anne (not her real name) became a mother through an unconventional arrangement with her neighbours. It was similar to surrogacy – and similar to adoption. The team didn’t know anything about surrogacy laws and processes before the baby was on the way. Unfortunately, as they came to discover, the child protection system and the legal system had some different ideas about the arrangement. It was almost two years after the birth that the legal process was finalised, granting Anne parental responsibility for her daughter.

Anne and I shared this story in the hope that we could educate intended parents and surrogates about the consequences of entering ‘off-grid’ arrangements, and the importance of following the processes so as to get the Parentage Order for the child. Anne was granted a court order, but it was not a Parentage Order, it was a Parenting Order (you can read more about the differences in this post). And the order she was granted came at great legal expense and a huge emotional toll for her and the birth parents.

If you are interested in traditional surrogacy, and wanting to know why you should follow the processes, this episode is for you.

Surrogacy arrangements – whether they involve an IVF clinic or not, whether they involve gestational or traditional surrogacy – should follow all the steps, including pre-conception surrogacy counselling and legal advice. Because, as Anne and the birth parents discovered, courts have very strong opinions on arrangements that do not follow the law, and what is in a child’s best interests.

You can read more about surrogacy arrangements that don’t tick all the boxes, and the consequences of doing so, in this post.

My thanks go to Anne for her generosity in sharing her story with the community.

You can find out more information about some of the things we discussed, including:

Sarah has written a book, More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates, which is 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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