Why do people go overseas for surrogacy from Australia?

The simplest reason, I hear again and again, is that Australian intended parents go on overseas surrogacy journeys  because they cannot find a surrogate in Australia. Official figures bear this out. The Department of Home Affairs keeps statistics  for all those children who have obtained Australian citizenship by descent through overseas surrogacy journeys. There is… Read More »Custom Single Post Header

Why do people go overseas for surrogacy from Australia?

The simplest reason, I hear again and again, is that Australian intended parents go on overseas surrogacy journeys  because they cannot find a surrogate in Australia. Official figures bear this out. The Department of Home Affairs keeps statistics  for all those children who have obtained Australian citizenship by descent through overseas surrogacy journeys.

There is no catch all statistic of the number of children born through surrogacy in Australia. However, the Australia and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database tells the story of the number of births through IVF clinics that were surrogacy births. For every child born in Australia through surrogacy, roughly three were born overseas.

These numbers demonstrate:

– all the posturing by politicians to stop Australians undertaking commercial surrogacy overseas didn’t deter them, and still doesn’t. Instead, it spurred intended parents  on to go overseas. Changes that came with the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) in early 2011  made it plain for the first time that people in NSW undertaking commercial surrogacy overseas were committing a criminal offence. Given the lag time it takes to undertake surrogacy, the enormous publicity associated with the change made it plain  to intended parents not only in NSW but elsewhere that surrogacy was available overseas- showing a huge jump in numbers from less than 10 babies born overseas in 2010 to 266 in 2012.

– there continues to be a shortage of surrogates in Australia. Australia continues to export intended parents looking for surrogacy somewhere else, instead of having more surrogacy occur at home.

Some Australians go back to the country that they migrated from. We therefore see small numbers of babies born in countries such as Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, Ghana and the UK for example.

The then heads of the Australian family law system, then Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court, John Pascoe, called either the enforcement of the overseas surrogacy laws- or their abolition. It is clear, as the numbers demonstrate, that they don’t work, and should be repealed.

Financial year
Born in Australia
Born overseas
2019
NK
232
2018
NK
170
2017
62
164
2016
45
207
2015
52
246
2014
36
263
2013
35
244
2012
19
266
2011
23
30
2010
16
<10
2009
19
10
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