Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008
Overview of the Act. We strongly recommend you get legal advice before proceeding with surrogacy.
The guiding principles of this act are that the wellbeing and best interests of a child born through a surrogacy arrangement are paramount. Children born as a result of donor gametes have a right to information about their genetic parents; and the health and wellbeing of the person undergoing treatment must be protected at all times.
Am I eligible for surrogacy?
An eligible person or couple is someone who is unable to conceive (unexplained infertility) or is able to conceive but is unlikely to carry the baby to term without significant risk to herself or the baby’s health. Eligible people include a single woman or heterosexual couples. The surrogate mother must have at least one live child and be over 25 years of age.
Can we do Gestational Surrogacy?
Yes, you can use either your egg, or that of a donor. If a donor is used then that donor must consent to the use of their gametes for a surrogacy procedure. Medicare does not cover the costs IVF in the case of gestational surrogacy; this means you will be required to pay the full medical fee associated with getting pregnant
Can we do Traditional Surrogacy?
Yes, but you need to have a clinic to support you if you are not prepared to do self-inseminations. If you use an IVF clinic for traditional surrogacy Medicare will not cover any of the cost.
What do we need to do to obtain a parentage order?
Before proceeding with surrogacy, you must apply to the patient review panel for approval.
There are a few requirements you need to meet to be eligible for a parentage order – these must be done prior to entering an agreement…
All parties need to have independent counselling with a counsellor and a copy of a police check and a child protection check must be supplied for each person in the agreement. If a donor is being used for the surrogacy procedure, then that donor requires counselling as well. The counsellor must provide services for an ART provider/clinic.
Counselling must cover –
- the social and psychological implications to all parties who are entering into the arrangement; and
- discuss the implications of the relinquishment of the child and the relationship between the surrogate mother and the child once it is born
You and your surrogate must have independent legal advice from different legal representatives before entering an arrangement to obtain information about the legal consequences of entering into the arrangement . You can draw up your own arrangement if you have the knowledge and understanding to do so. At a minimum you all must have independent legal advice before entering the arrangement and after the birth of the baby.
Consent must be given freely by the surrogate before entering the arrangement. The intended parents must also consent to the procedure.
What costs do the IP’s have to cover?
As an IP you must cover all of your surrogate’s reasonable costs which include any costs actually incurred by the surrogate mother as a direct consequence of entering into the surrogacy arrangement.
Application of a parentage order
Must be made after 28 days of birth and before the child turns 6 months. If done outside this time you have to apply for special orders and this is at the court’s discretion. You must file a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate with the court before appearing before the court.
Can I advertise for a surrogate in Vic?
Legally you are not allowed to advertise in any form (internet, radio, newspaper etc) but you can access internet forums and state your story and that you are looking to talk to anyone who has information regarding surrogacy.
Is commercial surrogacy illegal?
Yes, commercial surrogacy is illegal in Vic. Commercial surrogacy is defined by payment or reward given to the surrogate excluding the surrogate’s expenses.