Surrogacy – What is a Parentage Order?​

Depending on whether you have arranged your surrogacy overseas or domestically in Australia will determine whether you get a parenting order or a parentage order. It’s best to consult a surrogacy lawyer if you aren’t sure about which one to get. At Simply Surrogacy, we will provide you with legal advice as well as assist you each step of the way in ensuring you get your desired outcome.

What does a parentage order do?

The effect of making a parentage order is that the child becomes a child of the intended parent/s named in the order, thus becoming the parents of the child (s39 Surrogacy Act 2010). Since the surrogate will automatically be recognised as the birth parent, the parentage order ceases the child being the child of the birth parent and the birth parent stops being a parent of the child. (s39 (1)(b)). In effect, the child of the surrogacy arrangement has the same rights in relation to the intended parent/s as if they were born to the parent/s. Thus, the intended parent/s named have the same parental responsibility as the birth parent had before making the order.

What are the steps to apply for a parentage order?

Step 1: Birth.

Once the baby is born, the surrogate and her partner register the baby’s birth in the relevant State. The baby can be registered with the name you so intend. The birth certificate will list the surrogate (and her partner if she has one) will be listed as the parents.

Step 2: Application.

After the birth certificate is issued, you must apply for a Parentage Order in your State. This will ascertain that you are the true parents and will acknowledge the surrogacy arrangement.

Step 3: Evidence.

In your application, you must provide evidence of the arrangement and that the surrogate is relinquishing care of the baby to you as the intended parents. This is made by way of Affidavits, which at Simply Surrogacy we have expertise in drafting.

Step 4: Advice and Counselling.

You also need to provide evidence that you have obtained legal advice and counselling prior to the pregnancy. This should be a fairly simple step considering that this is one of the steps in getting a surrogacy arrangement approved.

Step 5: Parentage

Once all steps have been completed and after some time the parentage order is granted… congratulations! You are now officially the parents of the child. A new birth certificate with the new details will need to be ordered. This may seem daunting at first but we will ensure that this outcome is efficiently achieved for you.

What is a parenting order?

Parenting orders, which are also used in non-surrogacy family law matters, might be useful after international surrogacy arrangements. Although they do not change the birth certificate, they confer parental responsibility to the intended parents where they are not named on the birth certificate (s61D Family Law Act).

Cassandra Kalpaxis

Cassandra Kalpaxis