The Surrogacy Act 2010 (QLD) became operative on 1 June 2010. This act regulates surrogacy agreements in Queensland and permits surrogacy arrangements, provided they are not for a commercial purpose.
A surrogacy arrangement is an arrangement between a woman (‘the birth mother’) and another person(s) (‘intended parent(s)’) whereby the woman agrees to become pregnant with the intention that the child born is to be treated as the child of the other person(s).
This means that the birth mother will relinquish to the intended parent(s) custody and guardianship of the child after the child is born, and the intended parent(s) agree to become permanently responsible for the custody and guardianship of that child.
A commercial surrogacy arrangement occurs if the birth mother receives any payment, reward or other material benefit or advantage as a result of the surrogacy arrangement. These arrangements are not legal in Queensland. However, if the intended parent(s) paid for the birth mother’s reasonable medical, legal and counselling expenses, arising from the surrogacy arrangements, then these payments do not render the arrangements a commercial one.
Upon the birth of a child, a parenting order is required by the Children’s Court for the transfer of the parentage of a child born pursuant to a surrogacy arrangement. A parentage order effectively transfers legal parentage of a child of a birth mother to the intended parent(s).
An application for a parentage order for a child must be made 28 days after the birth of the child and before the child is six months old. Applications after this time may be allowed with leave of the Children’s Court.