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Components of domestic surrogacy

Key steps in a surrogacy arrangement where both the intended parents and surrogate are in Australia.

While laws differ across states and territories, common aspects of a domestic surrogacy arrangement across Australia are set out below.

The order of steps may differ between different states and territories, and the rules may depend either on where you live or where the surrogacy arrangement is occurring.

If you are considering surrogacy, you should seek specific advice according to your circumstances from a family lawyer.

Medical information regarding surrogacy can be found at Pregnancy Birth and Baby, Australia's leading pregnancy and baby website. Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is funded by the Australian Government and operated by Healthdirect Australia.

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Step 1: Advice & counselling

All parties should seek legal advice and counselling before commencing the surrogacy journey.
Specifically what advice is legally required and when differs between states and territories.

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Step 2: Finding a surrogate

Intended parents find a surrogate (and genetic material if applicable).
Who can be a surrogate (age, parentage, residence, citizenship etc), and whether and how you can advertise to find a surrogate differs between states and territories.

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Step 3: Pre-approval

Pre-approval of surrogacy arrangement (if applicable–not required in all states and territories).

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Step 4: Surrogacy agreement

Entering into a surrogacy agreement - intended parents and a surrogate.
Who can be an intended parent or surrogate (age, parentage, residence, citizenship etc) differs between states and territories.

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Step 5: Fertilisation procedure

What genetic material can be used differs between states and territories.

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Step 6: Pregnancy & birth

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Step 7: Court application

Application to a state or territory court for transfer of legal parentage.

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Step 8: Transfer of parentage

Court hearing and order for transfer of legal parentage.