Two surrogacy rabbits out of the hat

Two surrogacy rabbits out of the hat

The greatest honour I could ever have is to help people have children. I am the luckiest man in the world by being able to do this work.

This was driven home to me over the weekend, when two clients- one a couple and the other single achieved what was seemingly impossible. And they did so in each case with my help and the help of my firm. What the two cases demonstrated to me was how lawyers can achieve change, by being effective advocates for their clients, and in this case helped two rabbits to be pulled out of the hat.

My couple clients had two young children- a toddler and a newborn baby born through surrogacy in the US. To get home they had to scale enormous bureaucratic heights. What had once seemingly been a walk in the park was now the bureaucratic equivalent of climbing Mt Everest.

My clients first had to obtain a US passport. for their baby. The US passports office has in effect closed down- and it will only handle life and death matters. The usual delay has blown out form 1-2 days to 6 to 8 weeks. My clients’ surrogacy agency, Family Inceptions,  is run by the amazing Eloise Drane. Eloise went into overboard to try and look after my clients- and get the family home. She tried to get a driver to drive them interstate, so they could get to an Australian consulate. However, ultimately this didn’t work because some interstate borders are shut. Then she went to sort out the passport. Eloise managed to ensure a passport was issued within about a day. HOORAY!

Problem 1 for them was solved. Problem 2 was obtaining an Australian visa. After Scott Morrison announced that the only people who could come into Australia were Australian citizens, residents and their dependents, it was unclear whether children born via surrogacy overseas would be allowed in at all. Taking no chances, I wrote to my clients’ local federal MP seeking his support to the issue of a visa to my clients’ baby. That support was immediately forthcoming. The beaming visage of their MP in full colour was at the end of the electorate office email. The visa was issued quickly. HOORAY!

My clients and their children returned to Australia Friday night.

My second client needed to go to Canada today to attend at the birth of his child. He needed to get Border Force approval, requiring him to demonstrate exceptional circumstances. He then collected documents together. One that was particularly urgent in the short time frame was again to make representations to his local MP- and to obtain the MP’s support. HOORAY! My client was given permission to go to Canada to fly today.


Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Forced Marriage

On November 1st 2023, Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page presented a paper at the Brisbane Zonta Club about forced marriage. I acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, on whose lands we meet today, their elders, past, present and emerging. Ruqia Hidari was aged 21 and living in Victoria, when, according to police,… Read More »Forced Marriage

ACT Government Surrogacy Bill

The ACT Government has today introduced a bill to amend the ACT’s surrogacy laws. The proposed changes are more incremental than fundamental. They include allowing a single person to undertake surrogacy, for the surrogate to be single if needed, a requirement for legal advice and counselling beforehand, a written agreement being required, that traditional surrogacy is… Read More »ACT Government Surrogacy Bill

Planning to resolve: ADR in ART

ADR can help resolve disputes in ART cases. ADR is not limited to mediation and arbitration. Other types of informal dispute resolution can resolve disputes. When assisted reproductive treatment cases go off the rails, they can have the next level of bitterness and volatility. There can be a keen sense of betrayal when things don’t… Read More »Planning to resolve: ADR in ART

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