Why Australians Go to the USA for Surrogacy

In this video, Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page explores the data showing more Australian children born via surrogacy in the United States than in Australia.

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Why Australians Go to the USA for Surrogacy

In this video, Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page explores the data showing more Australian children born via surrogacy in the United States than in Australia.

Transcript

G’day. [It’s] Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers. Today I’m talking to you about the most amazing figure, which is, more Australian children are born via surrogacy in the United States than in Australia. You go, “How could that be? We have surrogacy laws here. Surely people should be going here.”

Well, they do go here. But the numbers show, demonstrate, that more Australian children are born there than here.

Where do these numbers come from? Well, as I’ve said in another video, they come from two places, the Department of Home Affairs, which deals with applications for citizenship by descent, by children born overseas through surrogacy. And secondly, and they go on a financial year, the department’s material. And secondly, from what is called ANZARD – the Australian New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Database, which is a database of IVF clinics in Australia and New Zealand. And they write annual reports.

They’re on a calendar year basis. They’re a couple of years behind. But the message is clear: for every child born in Australia, more children are born in the United States, and this is by surrogacy.

And so what do we see? We have to take some qualifications of the ANZARD results because they don’t cover traditional surrogacy and they cover New Zealand.

And if New Zealanders are doing surrogacy at the same rate as Australians, and we don’t know that we can say, well, about 20% of these births recognised in ANZARD New Zealand children because New Zealand’s got a population of about 5 million, Australia has got a population of about 25 million. 

So what do we see in recent years? In 2017, there were 62 children born in Australia and New Zealand via Gestational Surrogacy. If we work it out as being about 80% to cover Australia alone, that’s 52. 

In the same calendar in the same year, although six months out, what do we see with the United States? 66 children born in the United States through two Australians by Surrogacy. 

In the next year 2018, we have 86 children born in Australia and New Zealand, and we say Australia alone at 72. And what do we see in the United States? 67, just slightly below.

And the following year, 2019, there are 73 children born in Australia and New Zealand. So if we say Australia alone, that’s 61. And what do we see in the United States? 95 – considerably higher. And what we’ve seen in the 2020 year is 120 children born in the United States. We don’t have the last two years in Australia, New Zealand because ANZARD works a couple of years behind. And as best I’ve been able to annualise it for the 2021 financial year, there was 86.

So more Australian children are born via surrogacy in the United States to Australian parents than are born in Australia.

And what does it say about our settings?

Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Legal Parentage After Domestic Surrogacy Arrangements

Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page presented a paper at Growing Families’ National Conference Day Sydney.

Legal Aspects of Donation and Surrogacy in Queensland

On 11 June 2022, Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page presented a paper at Monash IVF Qld Clinical Day regarding the legal aspects of donation and surrogacy in Queensland.

The Decline of Inter-Country Adoption

Our Director Stephen Page was honoured to be interviewed by London family lawyer Yasmin Khan-Gunns about her proposed essay on the decline of inter-country adoptions.