The Road Less Travelled
As discussed in ‘Rainbow Families Part I’, access to Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) has made a world of difference to rainbow families, or LGBTI persons planning parenthood.
To be frank, however, this ART paradise is not ‘open access’ for everyone…yet. Ultimately, accessing ART requires at least: a womb, eggs or ova, and sperm. Now, thankfully these days there are relatively easy ways for participants to acquire the latter two if they’re lacking (be it from altruistic donors in Australia, or commercially purchased overseas). The former, however, is a tough one and requires more than the one off procurement of genetic material.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia. This does mean that would-be gay dads, partnered or single, are left facing a mighty challenge if they wish to start a family. Now, some go overseas, but this has its own legal and practical risks you should be aware of. You can read our other articles on surrogacy here and here.
For gay couples lucky enough to find an altruistic surrogate willing to work with them, more questions are raised: would the child be genetically related to its surrogate? would there be instead a donated egg or ova? which father would be biologically related to the child?
Some important questions that often get swept by the wayside are: what is your relationship with the surrogate? what do you want the relationship of your child to be to the surrogate, if any?
Even more important questions are: what is the legal status of your surrogate? What is your legal status in relation to the child? How can you give legal effect to your family’s wishes?
As discussed in our article “Surrogacy in the ACT“, it is mandatory in the ACT for intended parents and their surrogate to undergo counseling and obtain independent legal advice.
We would encourage you to get proper advice about your position, and what processes are available to you to ensure that your family is protected.
You can contact one of our experienced family law solicitors: