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How Australian surrogacy law upholds human rights

Australia has laws in place to regulate surrogacy and protect human rights.

Australian state and territory surrogacy legislation allows you to undertake surrogacy in Australia in a way that protects the human rights of children born of surrogacy, surrogate mothers and intended parents.


These human rights include making sure that:

These human rights include making sure that:

  • the surrogate and intended parents are fully informed about the arrangement they are entering into, and enter into it freely without coercion.
  • the child has a right to access information about their biological family (as an adult or with counselling and parental consent).

All Australian states and territories permit

All Australian states and territories permit altruistic surrogacy – that is a surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate has their expenses covered with no other payment provided or personal profit made. Commercial surrogacy – where the surrogate receives more than their reasonable expenses – is illegal. This is because commercial surrogacy can lead to risks of exploitation of surrogates, babies and intended parents.

Recognition as the legal parents of a child born through altruistic surrogacy requires the intended parents to follow the rules and processes described in the laws of the state or territory that they live in.

If Australians engage in commercial surrogacy, they are usually not recognised as legal parents in Australia and the surrogate remains the legal parent of the child. In some jurisdictions, in exceptional or limited circumstances, a judge may have discretion to order the transfer of legal parentage from a surrogate to the commissioning parents.