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Family

Surrogacy in Australia: What you need to know

As the worldwide debate over the case of baby Gammy continues we explain the complicated laws surrounding the issue in Australia.

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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