Surrogacy for Single Men in Australia. What You Need to Know
G’day, I’m Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers and today I’m talking about surrogacy for single men in Australia.
Recently, there was news about a single guy in Victoria who has somehow made the news because, well, it seemed as though he was the first single guy in Victoria to do his surrogacy in Victoria. When I reflected on that news, I thought, well, I’ve acted for many single men undertaking surrogacy, but the reality is that they go overseas, and the reason for that is the obvious, and that is it’s hard to find a local surrogate.
In broad numbers, for every surrogate available here, there will be four overseas and that’s because for every child born here in Australia, in rough terms, there are four born overseas. The matter is more complicated in the Northern Territory and in Western Australia and the ACT. In the ACT, you can’t do surrogacy if you’re single, you’ve got to be a member of a couple.
That’s pretty easily avoided because the ACT isn’t a big place, you move across the border to Queanbeyan or Jerrabomberra, and suddenly it’s a New South Wales arrangement, and there’s no problem if you’re single.
Northern Territory, surrogacy isn’t available in the Northern Territory currently because there are no laws in the Northern Territory. The only IVF clinic in the Northern Territory won’t currently assist with surrogacy. It’s been very keen in having a change to the surrogacy laws.
The Northern Territory Parliament has passed a Surrogacy Act this year, 2022. But at the time of doing this video, it hasn’t yet started, but that’ll change soon. So if you’re having to live in the top end and you have a local surrogate, don’t despair, you may be able to do it locally. Western Australia is a little bit more complex.
Western Australian law makes it quite plain that if you’re a single man or a male couple, you can’t do surrogacy there. However, this law is open to challenge because it’s almost certainly in breach of the Federal Sex Discrimination Act, which under our Commonwealth Constitution would prevail.
Every time I’ve talked to clients who look like they might fall within this gap, namely that they could do local surrogacy, but to do so would be in breach of the law, and therefore, they might be a test case. Not surprisingly, they haven’t wanted to focus on test case, but they wanted to focus on becoming parents and they do it somewhere else.
I’m delighted to say, as I’ll say in another video, that Western Australia is currently reviewing its laws to do with assisted reproductive treatment and surrogacy, and fingers crossed this discrimination in Western Australia will be a thing of the past.
Otherwise, if you’re a single guy, throughout Australia, there’s no impediment to doing surrogacy in Australia, except the practical one of finding a surrogate and the other practical one of finding an egg donor. It’s an absolute joy for me to help single guys become parents. I think the first case I had was probably the best part of 10 years ago, and there have been quite a few since. But as I said, typically they’ll go overseas.
If you want to know more in this area, please, oh please get a hold of my book When Not If: Surrogacy for Australians, you’ll find it on my website, Stephenpage.com.au and on the Page Provan website. Please have a look at it, read it, it is absolutely chock full of information, not only about me and my journey, but much more importantly about how surrogacy can impact on you and how you may be able to become a parent.