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What is an international surrogacy arrangement?

An international surrogacy arrangement is a surrogacy arrangement that involves intended parents and a surrogate mother who live in different countries.

Complications with international surrogacy arrangements can arise from the difference in the laws between the countries, the need for visas or recognition of citizenship by descent, and the existence or suspicion of a commercial surrogacy arrangement between the intended parents and the surrogate mother. The Australian Government is aware of Australians citizens and residents travelling to other countries to have children through surrogacy. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a specific fact sheet dealing with the issue of international surrogacy and what it means in terms of obtaining an Australian visa or citizenship for the child.

Are all international surrogacy arrangements commercial surrogacy arrangements?

No, there are many instances when family or friends who live in different countries may enter into a surrogacy arrangement which is not a commercial surrogacy arrangement. However, if the intended parents and the surrogate mother (or the surrogate mother’s partner) do not know each other or had no other connection other than the surrogacy arrangement – it would be reasonable to suspect that the parties have entered into a commercial surrogacy arrangement. Anyone intending to enter into such an arrangement should take extreme caution with respect to the current law in New South Wales prohibiting commercial surrogacy arrangements (even if that arrangement was with someone in another country) and be aware of the laws of the other country if that country also prohibits commercial surrogacy.

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