Surrogacy is a type of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) where a woman carries a child in her uterus on behalf of another person or couple.
Gestational surrogacy entails transferring an embryo created using an egg and sperm from the intended parent(s) or donors, into the birth mother’s uterus. The birth mother has no genetic link to the child, and her eggs cannot be used to conceive the child.
Surrogacy is highly complex, and at Queensland Fertility Group we offer the expertise to ensure both parties make the best decisions – including extensive counselling and assessment. Our surrogacy program is designed to support you and all other involved parties throughout the process.
When is surrogacy used?
Offering surrogacy as a treatment option will only occur under one or more of the following very special conditions:
- The intended parent has a medical disorder that makes it impossible or unacceptably dangerous to carry a baby in her uterus.
- The birth mother is older than 25, and younger than the age of natural menopause (52 years of age). This may be increased slightly to 55 in the unique situation of a gestational surrogate who is the mother or mother-in-law of the intended parent.
- The birth mother has already given birth to a healthy child of her own.
- The birth mother does not have a history of pregnancy-related illnesses or complications.
- The birth mother has had an established relationship with the intended parents for at least one year before embryo transfer.
- Neither the birth mother nor intended parents suffer from any significant psychiatric disorder that would impair decision-making or the care of the child.
Our Surrogacy Committee needs to approve your surrogacy arrangement before you can commence the process.
Queensland surrogacy laws
As an intended parent, you must find your own birth mother. In Queensland, it is illegal to advertise for someone to act as a birth mother and to pay someone to act as your birth mother. It is also illegal for a woman to advertise that she is willing to act as a birth mother.
The surrogacy process
- Medical review – the intended parents (or individual) and birth mother attend a consultation with a Fertility Specialist at Queensland Fertility Group.
- Independent assessment – the birth mother and the intended parents may need independent obstetric and psychiatric assessments.
- Counselling – for the intended parents, the birth mother and her partner, including any identified genetic issues.
- Independent legal advice – we ask for a certificate confirming both parties have been advised on their rights and obligations.
- Surrogacy Committee review – the Queensland Fertility Group Surrogacy Committee reviews all relevant information and approves the surrogacy arrangement.
- IVF treatment cycle – if the intended parent is using her own eggs, they will be collected after a stimulated treatment cycle and fertilised with her partner’s (or donor) sperm. The embryo will then be transferred into the birth mother.
- Ongoing pregnancy care – once pregnancy is confirmed, a Queensland Fertility Group counsellor will continue to discuss and confirm plans for delivery with the intended parents and birth mother.
- Birth – the baby is deemed to be the child of the birth mother until the intended parents’ parentage order takes legal effect, under the Surrogacy Bill 2010.
For more information on Queensland Fertility Group's surrogacy program, call 1800 111 483 to speak with an experienced Fertility Advisor, or contact us.