Friday Legal Update – Australia Remains in a State of Flux Regarding Surrogacy

Surrogacy – As we await the signing of the legislation in NSW by the governor, who is likely to sign it, we now have a story regarding Queensland.

A Queensland law similar to the surrogacy law that passed through the New South Wales parliament last week has been tested in the Australian courts. Altruistic surrogacy was decriminalized in Queensland in February, and “[u]nder the reforms, which extend to same-sex couples, legal parentage of a child born in surrogacy agreements can be transferred from the birth mother to the parent or parents who commissioned the birth.”

A judgment was handed down by Brisbane Children’s Court Judge Marshall Irwin in September but was just made public and “officially transferred the parentage of a four-month-old boy to a gay couple from Brisbane.” Even though there was no written agreement between the parties until the child was born Judge Irwin decided to use his discretion and transferred the parental rights to the gay couple because he felt it was in the best interests of the child.

Australians need to be certain to seek counsel before moving forward with surrogacy, whether at home or abroad.

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