Breakfast in bed made lovingly by the children, maybe a little help from dad, thoughtful handmade gifts and cards and always lots of smiles and hugs. Mother’s Day is a joyous sentimental day for mothers all over Australia.
This is a dream that’s denied to many women who are unable to give birth for a variety of reasons and Mother’s Day celebrations can bring feelings of sadness and regret. Surrogacy can help bring a new life into the world to loving parents who otherwise would be denied the opportunity of raising their own child.
Commercial surrogacy is not permitted in Australia and the process of finding a surrogate mother is not an easy one, unless there is a close friend or family member prepared to help the intending parents. A couple who intend to use a surrogate mother to help bring their child into the world may not advertise for a surrogate and of course a woman wishing to become a surrogate may not advertise her availability.
A surrogate mother helps bring this new life into the world, usually with the assistance of genetic material provided by the intended parents and with the intervention of and expert medical guidance of fertility clinics. There are quite strict criteria to be met before a woman may become a surrogate mother, including age limits, residency requirements and consent of her partner. A fertility clinic may also impose the need to have borne a healthy child previously before it is prepared to assist with the conception.
The intending parents and the proposed birthmother must be prepared for the complexities involved. The birthmother and her partner, as well as the intending parents, must each seek counselling. There is a requirement for both the birthmother and the intending parents to have independent legal advice. The costs of the counselling and the independent legal advice will be borne by the intending parents.
The intending parents and the birthmother, as well as the birthmother’s partner, must enter into an agreement pursuant to the legislation before the pregnancy commences. The legal costs are the responsibility of the intending parents. The costs of the pregnancy, medical costs, pharmaceutical costs and hospital costs to name but a few will be met by the intending parents just as though they would meet those costs as if they were the birth parents.
Some birth mothers choose to maintain close links with the intending parents throughout the pregnancy and allow them to be fully involved every step of the way. The degree of involvement, if any, in the pregnancy is worked out between the birthmother her partner and the intending parents. The birthmother always has the right to manage the pregnancy as if she was not a surrogate.
When baby is born, the tiny bundle is considered to be the child of the birthmother until an application is made in the Supreme Court for a parenting order which may then be taken to the family court. The birth certificate will issue in the name of the intending parents after the order is made and baby is no longer the child of the birthmother but of the proud new parents.
If you are considering the use of surrogacy or assisted conception to bring the joy of having a child into your life, Hadley Family Law have the expertise, the compassion and empathy to assist you through this exciting new stage of your life.