I am beyond proud and excited to be named as a finalist in the Lawyer’s Weekly Women in Law Awards, for both Thought Leader of the Year and Sole Practitioner of the Year for 2019. I am humbled to share a place on both shortlists with so many amazing women, including those who inspire me to disrupt the status quo and make my own mark on the legal profession. Congratulations to all the wonderful women who have made the shortlists – I can’t wait to celebrate in November!

As a sole practitioner, I have thoroughly enjoyed building my practice in surrogacy and fertility law, which allows me to work flexible hours that are family-friendly and accessible for my clients. I am so proud to have follow my own rule book when it comes to running a law firm, from home, focusing on my own happiness and the needs of my family.

The Thought Leader of the Year recognises a female lawyer within the Australian legal profession who has shown a long-term passion and aptitude for improving the industry.

I started my own practice less than four years ago, and in that time I have seen the face of surrogacy and fertility law change. Lawyers should not be expensive gate-keepers of knowledge. Clients – intended parents, surrogates and donors – should be able to access information to make empowered, informed decisions that are in the best interests of the children they hope to create. 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. I promote the best interests of the child and the bodily autonomy of the surrogate, and provide support to teams to build relationships that lasts.

The Surrogacy Handbook, the Surrogacy Podcast, the Blog and the Surrogacy Sisterhood Retreat are all initiatives I have been proud to create to help the community make decisions that are right for them and their families. Further projects like Free Advice for Future Surrogates and DIY Parentage Order Packages have helped the community access legal advice and services that suit their needs and circumstances.

From Lawyers Weekly:

The Women in Law Awards, in partnership with Taylor Root, is Australia’s largest independent awards program for the leading women in the legal industry, celebrating the outstanding women shaping and influencing the legal industry.

The finalist list, which was announced on 30th September, features over 269 high-achieving legal professionals across 31 categories.

“The Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards provides a platform to celebrate the females driving the profession forward,” said Lawyers Weekly editor Emma Ryan.

“Through their hard work, determination and tenacity, the finalists of this awards program are dominating the business of law, advising on some of the most noteworthy matters the country has seen over the past year.

“On behalf of Lawyers Weekly, congratulations on your national recognition, and for championing the innovation and outstanding value you bring to the industry. We look forward to following your success now and into the future.”

The winners will be announced at a five-star gala dinner on Friday, 22 November, at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne.

Sarah is a surrogacy lawyer in Melbourne and 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.

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.

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