Do I need to see a doctor about surrogacy?

There are a few of my clients who have asked me this question. The answer is that if you are a woman, yes, you do. You can’t go through the surrogacy process just because you feel like it. The Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) says that one of the preconditions to the making of a parentage order is that there is a medical or social need for surrogacy. It further specifies that if you are a woman, you must be unable to conceive on medical grounds, unable to carry a pregnancy to full term on medical grounds, unable to survive a pregnancy (or have health severely affected by a pregnancy), have a high chance of communicating a genetic disease to the child, or will give birth to a child who will not be able to survive or whose health would be severely affected by a pregnancy.

If you are a lesbian couple, the both of you will need to show that the both of you have a medical need for surrogacy.

If you are a gay couple, you will need to show that there is a social need – well, at this stage we assume that the social need arises out of the fact that men don’t have the equipment necessary to give birth to a child!

If you are a single man, you will still need to demonstrate that there is a social need for surrogacy – however, the court would likely ask is why can’t you find a partner, and do things the regular way. I suspect that this need will need to be demonstrated through a cultural expert or perhaps by a psychologist.

Whatever the case is, it’s still a good idea to get a referral from your treating doctor or from a specialist obstetrician or gynecologist, advising you that you have a need for surrogacy. If you haven’t done this yet and are considering whether surrogacy is for you – well, before incurring legal costs or counseling costs – speak to your doctor.