Legal Issues in Surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (“ART”)


Although some States have specific legislation allowing altruistic surrogacy and ART most people are pushed towards commercial surrogacy or ART procedures overseas because of the regulatory restrictions and the difficulty in finding surrogates or egg donors in Australia.  Depending on your State of usual residency entering a commercial arrangement for surrogacy or ART may be illegal and a criminal offence, regardless of where you enter into the arrangement.

Although many aspects of a surrogacy arrangement will constitute a personal choice it is very important that you consider the full legal ramifications of your decision PRIOR to making it.  In the future you will deal with the consequences of your choice with respect to matters such as anonymous or identified egg donors, decision to obtain parenting orders etc.  You should obtain advice on these and other matters before making those personal decisions.

Be very careful about accepting assurances from an overseas surrogacy agency, and paying them money for their service, in respect of them assisting you with meeting Australian legal requirements.  The best person to assist you with meeting Australian legal requirements is an Australian qualified lawyer, not an agent in India, Thailand or USA.

At IPT Law we have professional and personal experience of commercial overseas surrogacy and ART. In the event you decide to pursue an overseas commercial arrangement we can advise and assist with all of the documentation necessary to complete the process and bring your child home to Australia efficiently and safely.


Important points to consider:

  • Documentation requirements extensive and complex
  • Original documents sometimes needed
  • Mistakes or missing documents may add months to your stay overseas
  • Consider local laws on surrogacy and birth rights
  • Consider documentation for Family Court applications
  • Obtain relevant consent from local surrogate
  • Consider anonymous egg donor




As of January 2016 IPT Law has acted for 65+ clients engaging in international surrogacy arrangements.

We have been through the process with 3 of our own children. We returned to Australia just 3 weeks after the birth of our daughter.