It’s not an easy journey, and it shows. Even through the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) has been in place now for about 3 years, applications for parentage orders are still relatively rare. Part of this, some of my clients tell me, is because they are having trouble finding someone to help them be a surrogate.
Some of this is due to what the Surrogacy Act says – particularly, Section 10 of the Surrogacy Act. This section says that you can’t advertise that you are looking for a surrogate, that you are looking to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, or has the intention of inducing someone to enter into a surrogacy arrangement. The section also says that it is a criminal offense to do this. There are some exceptions though – its fine to advertise that you are looking for a birth mother so long as the arrangement is an altruistic arrangement and that no advertising fee has been paid.
This means that you can certainly do things like post notices up on bulletin boards, internet forums, on Facebook pages, or perhaps even on social media sites – provided that they do not charge you with a fee for you to publish the advertisement or notice. I’ve also been aware that there are a few private networking organisations that exist to unite intended parents and surrogates with each other.
It can still be difficult to find a surrogate to help you start up your family. In the past my clients have relied on their family, extended members of their family, or even close friends to help out with this. Discussing this with people close to you can certainly be tough – but at the end of the day, I think that these clients tend to have greater peace of mind because they’ve had an established relationship with their surrogate and they fully trust them. In an altruistic surrogacy, this can be a very important matter. I certainly encourage, that where possible – a surrogate really should be found from your network of close friends and family.
At the end of the day, no matter how you find your surrogate, I think that you must be comfortable with your surrogate, and trust them fully. They are after all, doing something amazing for you.
EDITOR (2014): While this is not fully functional at the moment, we’re slowly compiling a list of those people who may be interesting in being or at least knowing more about being a surrogate mother. You can register your details and join our mailing list to receive announcements as there are further developments. Click here to register your details.