As the worldwide debate over the case of baby Gammy, who has Down syndrome and was left with a Thai surrogate after his biological parents returned to Australia with his twin sister, continues, we explain the complicated laws surrounding the issue in Australia.
+ Commercial surrogacy, where a woman is paid to become pregnant with and carry the embryo of another couple until birth, is illegal in Australia.
+ Surrogacy is permitted for altruistic reasons, with couples encouraged to choose close relatives or friends with similar values.
+ It is illegal for people living in Queensland, NSW and the ACT to go overseas for commercial surrogacy.
+ But it is not illegal for residents of Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, WA or the Northern Territory to go overseas for commercial surrogacy.
+ Northern Territory has no laws or regulations surrounding surrogacy.
+ The surrogate mother is presumed by law to be the parent of a child born in a commercial surrogacy arrangement. If she has a husband or partner who consented to the procedure, they are considered the other parent.
+ But if she was single, the sperm donor may seek a declaration of parentage.
+ Expectant biological parents can apply to the Family Court for a parenting order that would confer parental responsibility from the surrogate to them.
+ Couple seeking a surrogacy arrangement are advised to seek legal advice before entering into an arrangement.
+ Gay couples and single people are not permitted to enter into surrogacy arrangements in WA or South Australia.
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