HOORAY! They are coming home

HOORAY! They are coming home

When Australia changed its rules just over a week ago so that the only people who could come here were Australian citizens, residents and their dependents, it was unknown how it might affect children born through overseas surrogacy.

In the past, when children were born in the US or Canada via surrogacy, typically they would come back here using their US or Canadian passport and an Australian electronic travel authority. When they got back here, they would then apply for and obtain Australian citizenship. At the time of the children’s arrival in Australia, they were not recognised by the Australian government as the children of the Australian intended parents.

These children would need to obtain an Australian visa in order to be able to travel here. The alternative is that they would need to obtain Australian citizenship first before coming home- a process that recently takes 2 to 4 months for most.

Clients of mine found themselves stuck in the US. Their daughter was born- but they were unable to leave the US unless they obtained the visa or citizenship (and a passport) for her. Last week I made representations to their federal MP. His office helped.

This morning I received joyful news from my clients. They had their visa! They and their daughter will be back Saturday. HOORAY!

With the changes, instead of it being a 10 to 15 minute online process, intended parents in effect have to achieve the bureaucratic equivalent of climbing Everest. They have done so!

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