Surrogacy in Argentina

Surrogacy in Argentina

In this video, Award-Winning Surrogacy Lawyer and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Stephen Page discusses what Australian intended parents need to know about going to Argentina for Surrogacy.



G’day, I’m Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers, and I’m talking about two places that, about 100 years ago, had a similar standard of living, and both were seen as being leaders in the world.

One of those countries had a bit of a dip, but now we’re back, well in truly, and that’s Australia. We had a bit of a dip in the ’70s and ’80s. We weren’t doing so well, we started to lose our way in the world a bit, and then we had all these reforms, and we’ve had very solid economy and growth prospects for the last 30 years in Australia.

And the other is an economic basket case, which was seen to be a leader in the world, and that’s Argentina, and the funny thing is that because we have a shortage of surrogates in our country, for every child born in Australia via surrogacy, three are born overseas.

So about one in four are born in Australia, Australian intended parents go overseas, and one of those places that they’re going to in increasing numbers is Argentina. So Argentina does not discriminate on the basis of sexuality, that’s a really good thing and surrogacy is available.

That’s also a good thing. But there are issues about doing surrogacy in Argentina. The first one is the good news. The good news is that the quality of IVF in Argentina is really, really good, and I know this not because I’m an IVF specialist.

But I know it anecdotally and that is, if I go back to 2008, from 2008 onwards, I saw Australian IVF specialists refer their patients to clinics in Argentina for egg donation because there weren’t any egg donors available here, but they were available in Argentina.

And Australian IVF specialists were satisfied that the quality of IVF, way back then, was really, really good. So that’s the good news. The other good news, as I said, no discrimination, and that surrogacy is available, particularly in Buenos Aires. Then we have the bad news, I suppose.

The place that you have to do surrogacy is in Buenos Aires. Well, that’s not so bad, there’s about 12 million people there. Surrogacy can happen there, but according to a colleague in Argentina, you’ll need to go there, in effect, at least three times. One, at the beginning, to get it underway.

Second, when you sign the documents for your surrogacy agreement, so you can’t sign them here, you have to sign them there, and then thirdly, obviously, when your child is born. So it’s a big trip to go there. But the ugly news, I think, is this.

The first is, surrogacy in Argentina is supposed to be altruistic, but certainly, reports I’ve received are that it may well not be. That what you’re seeing might be a double game, namely what the documents might say may not reflect reality. So you got to be really careful with that.

It’s very important to go to a lawyer over there who is of high quality and high ethics, and that’s in the context of a country that has about a 40 % poverty rate and an inflation rate above 100 %. When we pay for things in Australia, well, we typically tap our card or our phone or even our watch because we rely on our banks that the money is there.

We live, despite having some inflation, which is about 4 or 5 %, it’s low. But just imagine, where every day, prices go up. What do Argentinians do? They don’t put money in the bank, they put US dollars under their beds. They go down to the corner and they exchange money there, they don’t trust the government official exchange rates.

So it’s very hard to see how the economy is performing in Argentina, and now we have a new president, President Messi. And he’s a Trump-like figure with a mane of long hair and his electoral image is standing on the stage holding a chainsaw because he wants to cut up the bureaucracy that he sees that has been holding back Argentina.

Fair enough, at some level. But demagogs worry me and one of the things about President Messi is he hates gays, just like President Bolsonaro did, next door in Brazil.

And given that surrogacy is undertaken primarily by two big groups, namely heterosexual couples and gay couples, I worry that one day the roller door may come down quickly in Argentina to stop any Australian’s undertaking surrogacy there.

So there’s a level of risk with Argentina that’s heightened following the election of President Messi that wasn’t there beforehand. Surrogacy is available in Argentina. I think as a destination, high-quality IVF, you can get your baby home, but you’ve got to be prepared to swallow a fair dose of risk.

If you’re thinking about undertaking surrogacy in Argentina, talk to me first so you can reduce that risk and heighten the chances of it being an enjoyable, as minimal risk possible, journey as possible. Thank you.

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Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board