The key point of surrogacy in Australia is the absence of any legislation regulating the usage of reproductive technologies and surrogacy. However, lately, Australian government accepted the necessity of the creation of the corresponding laws to promote the development of the theoretical and practical aspects of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) usage.
Although, the permission for using surrogacy is not declared in the legislation of the country, it’s either not prohibited. Nowadays, in all Australian states, if the surrogacy bilateral treaty is signed correctly, babies who are given the birth on the basis of such a program are considered to be absolutely legal and have all legal rights. On the other hand, because of the absence of any Laws regulating usage of ART, surrogacy in Australia is guided only by the recommendations of the National Council of Health and Medical Researches.
To avoid any possibility of cheating, surrogacy in Australia is only non-commercial. Any fees and compensations for surrogate mothers and egg donors (sperm donors) are strictly prohibited. Any commercial treaties and surrogacy agreements are also viewed illegal and punished by the law. But in 1994 some limits were released. It gives the right for the intended parents’ cousins to become foster parents if it’s necessary.
Only officially married heterosexual spouses who have been treated from infertility for quite a long period of time without any success can take part in the surrogacy on the request of their attending physician. They should be informed about all the aspects of such a journey, receive all necessary consultations and approval of the administration. As in our country, the agreement of surrogate mother’s husband (if she is married) is also obligatory.
Despite the weakness of the Australian legislation towards surrogacy, it presupposes particular regulations about the terms of storage of reproductive materials – donors’ eggs, sperm, embryos (e.g. donors’ eggs and sperm might be kept for ten years, embryos – just for five).
Since January, 1 1998 intended parents who go through surrogacy in Australia have the special access to the identificatory information about the children given birth by surrogate mothers in the country. All this information is indicated in the Central Register of the Administration of Infertility Treatment.