Surrogacy Cost in Australia
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Surrogacy Cost in Australia

Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproductive technology where a woman who is usually referred to as the surrogate, offers to carry a pregnancy for another person or couple that is referred to as the intended parent or parents. The surrogate then hands the baby over to them after delivery. Surrogacy is a very complex process, and there are a lot of steps that need to be taken to ensure that both parties make the best decisions. This will include extensive counselling, independent legal advice and psychological and mental assessment. 

In gestational surrogacy, an embryo is created using an egg and sperm that is obtained from the intended parents or donors. After, the embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the surrogate. This will ensure that there are no genetic relationships between the surrogate and the baby. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate uses her egg and is artificially inseminated in order to get pregnant. This is a more complex approach and is not a popular type with fertility agencies.

Surrogacy in Australia

In Australia, surrogacy is more relational rather than transactional, and due to this, it could require a lot of time as well as commitment. There are not a lot of Australians who are interested in being surrogates, and the process is not normalized as seen in some other countries. There is usually no payment to the surrogate for carrying the baby. Their only reward is the happiness they get in seeing another person become a parents. This is why it may be quicker for the parties to pursue surrogacy overseas. However, there are enormous benefits for couples that choose to pursue their surrogacy in Australia.

Surrogacy Cost in Australia - laws
Picture courtesy: Anavara

How does surrogacy work in Australia?

Surrogacy in Australia is governed by state legislation, and the laws are slightly different in each state. Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia. All surrogacy must be altruistic, unlike in Georgia where commercial surrogacy is allowed. This means that the surrogate cannot be paid or receive a reward in exchange for giving birth to a baby. However, she can have her surrogacy-related charges settled by the intended parents. Some states even criminalize their residents pursuing commercial surrogacy abroad. Queensland, New South Wales, and ACT laws provide that residents from there cannot pursue commercial surrogacy abroad. 

Surrogacy Cost in Australia
Picture courtesy: Surrogacy Australia

The stringent regulations around surrogacy in Australia may encourage residents in other states to choose to pursue overseas medical treatment that is offered by medical health travel agencies or meditour agencies as a type of medical tourism. There are also prohibitions against advertising for surrogates in most states. This can prove challenging for anyone who needs to find a surrogate. Same-sex couples also face the challenge of getting an egg donor as well as a surrogate. Egg donation is also altruistic in Australia and most often comes from family members or friends or via online forums.

How much does altruistic surrogacy cost in Australia?

There are so many variables that depend on individual circumstances, which can make it hard to pinpoint the exact cost to the question of cost. Intended parents should normally expect to cover the expenses that are incurred by the surrogate and her partner if any, concerning the surrogacy, pregnancy and birth. However, the cost of surrogacy in Australia may be anywhere in the region of 15,000-100,000 dollars. The major variable is the fertility treatment which will depend on the type that is required by the surrogate, the success of any treatment and the point that the surrogate conceives.

The cost may seem overwhelming and indeed too expensive for many. However, the expenses do not come at once and depending on the individual situation, they may come in several years. Some will become payable before conception, others will come during pregnancy, and others will come after birth. Keep in mind that surrogacy in Australia is altruistic, and the expenses that are expected to be covered are the out-of-pocket expenses of the surrogate, not any payment, reward, fee, or material benefits. The costs that can be expected include:

This will depend on the individual rate of the lawyer, and it may be an hourly rate or a fixed fee. The fees will also vary considerably and will depend on some factors, including if a written agreement is needed. The intended parents should ensure that the lawyers are specialists in surrogacy laws. They will also need to cover their legal costs as well as the legal fees of the surrogate.

Fertility treatment 

This will depend on how many cycles that are required. It will also depend on if the egg and sperm to be used will be donated. The cost will also depend on the success of the treatment. Medicare reimbursements are not available for surrogacy agreements, which will have various effects.

Counselling and psychological assessments 

Some fertility clinics provide counselling as part of the paid service. But usually, counselling and psychological assessments are provided by independent counsellors specializing in surrogacy.

Pregnancy and Birth 

Surrogates are eligible for Medicare and public healthcare, just as if they were having their pregnancy and baby. Medical costs that are not covered by medicare need to be covered by the intended parents. This includes private health insurance, private healthcare and hospital fees as appropriate. It will also include medication and treatments that might be required during the process of pregnancy and birth.

Parentage order 

After the baby is born, the intended parents need to apply to the court for a Parentage Order to recognize them as the legal parents and change the Birth Certificate. This can involve lawyers and further counselling. 

Other costs that may be dependent on the individual state legislation and individual circumstances include:

  • The expenses incurred by the surrogate and her partner during their travels to treatment or pregnancy appointments (including fuel, parking, and train tickets) 
  • Life insurance for surrogates
  • Financial loss incurred by the surrogate and her partner on the days they must miss work to attend surrogacy, pregnancy, and delivery-related appointments
  • Allied health treatment like massage, naturopathy and acupuncture for the surrogate
  • Pre-natal supplements

What next?

Whether it is Australia or overseas, with a donor or with personal gametes, it is essential to ensure that the individual qualifies for surrogacy before proceeding. In Australia, intended parents who wish to pursue surrogacy must have a medical or social need.

The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not intended to replace professional medical consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding your health. Read more

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