THE FACTS ABOUT: SURROGACY
WHAT IS SURROGACY?
Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. The person carrying the pregnancy is referred to as the birth parent or surrogate, the person/s for whom the child is intended is referred to as the intended parent/s.
Surrogacy involves an IVF procedure. An embryo is created using an egg and sperm from the intended parents (in some cases donor eggs or donor sperm may be utilised). The embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate or birth mother with the aim of achieving a pregnancy and carrying the intended parents’ child. The embryo must not contain any genetic material from the birth parent (otherwise known as traditional surrogacy).
All surrogacy arrangements must be of an altruistic nature and comply with current Queensland Law or relevant legislation in the state in which you reside. Commercial surrogacy, where a surrogate receives payment for carrying a pregnancy is illegal and a criminal offence in Australia.
If you are considering undergoing fertility treatment using a surrogate, our Nurse Co-ordinators at Life Fertility Clinic will be able to assist you in understanding all the arrangements that need to be in place before treatment can commence, including legal and counselling obligations.
FOR WHOM SURROGACY IS CONSIDERED
The surrogacy process may be considered for the intended parent when the female has:
- Functioning ovaries but no uterus.
- A medical reason rending her incapable of carrying a pregnancy, and would place the intended parent or any child at risk.
- Had many unsuccessful attempts at IVF and embryo transfers.
- A history of repeated miscarriage.
- Reached the age of 25 years or older.
- Residency of Queensland, or if residing in another state of Australia must comply with that state’s surrogacy legalisation.
- No criminal convictions.
The surrogacy process may be considered for the Birth parent if:
- The birth parent and her partner (if appropriate) are twenty five years of age or older.
- Does not abuse any drugs or alcohol.Is healthy and does not have a history of pregnancy-related illnesses or complications.
- Neither the birth mother nor intended parents suffer from any significant psychiatric disorder.
- No criminal convictions
MALE COUPLES IN A SAME SEX RELATIONSHIP
The intended parents will undergo a complete medical history by their treating fertility specialist.
FINDING A SURROGATE
Life Fertility Clinic cannot assist in the process of finding a surrogate, In Queensland it is illegal to advertise for a surrogate or for a person willing to be a surrogate themselves. It is also illegal to pay your surrogate – all surrogacy arrangements must be of an altruistic nature.
SURROGACY STEP BY STEP
The intended parent/s and birth mother (and egg donor/sperm donor if required) must attend a consultation with a Fertility Specialist at Life Fertility Clinic.
Counselling is required for both the intended parent/s and birth parent/s.
Independent legal advice:
Both parties must have evidence of having had independent legal advice advising of their rights and obligations.
Legal requirements/Surrogacy arrangement:
A signed surrogacy arrangement as prepared by your legal representative must be provided to Life Fertility Clinic prior to commencing a treatment cycle.
Life Fertility Clinic Nurse Consultation:
All parties must attend a Nurse consultation prior to commencing a treatment cycle.
IVF treatment cycle:
If the intended parent is using her own eggs, she will undergo an IVF treatment cycle, the eggs collected will be fertilised with her partner’s (or donor) sperm. The embryo will then be transferred into the uterus of the birth mother.
Ongoing pregnancy care:
Once pregnancy is confirmed, ongoing counselling will be required for all parties involved in the surrogacy arrangement.
The baby is deemed to be the child of the birth mother until a parentage order is obtained through the Court under the Surrogacy Act 2010 by the intended parents.
Life Fertility Clinic takes pride in providing a comprehensive approach to patients requiring surrogacy treatment. We understand that each surrogacy treatment is a ‘unique plan’ and our fertility nurses and scientists at Life Fertility Clinic are highly skilled, and have extensive knowledge of the management of surrogacy cycles. All staff at Life Fertility Clinic are well equipped to provide the individualised care and support to guide you through your surrogacy journey to achieve your goal of taking home a baby.
If you have any additional questions regarding Life Fertility Clinic’s Surrogacy programme, please contact one of our IVF nurse Co-ordinators on 07 3606 3131.
NB. All advice in this document is in accordance with the current Queensland Surrogacy Act 2010 and any relevant legislation pertaining to surrogacy or family law with the State of Queensland.
For more information or queries regarding any of the services offered at Life Fertility Clinic, please contact us.