The meaning of Altruistic Surrogacy
“Altruistic”, stemming from the noun “altruism” is defined as “unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of other”. The definition of the term “altruism” or its adjective form “altruistic” is important in the context of surrogacy in Australia because it is the bedrock upon which our surrogacy laws are based on. Indeed, section 23 of the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) States that “surrogacy arrangement must be altruistic” and this is a precondition to the Court granting an application for parentage order.
So, how exactly does the concept of “altruism” fit in with surrogacy?
In a nutshell, it means that surrogacy in Australia can only proceed on the basis of selflessness by the surrogate mother. There can be no other benefit to the surrogate mother in committing to this process other than the sole concern for the well-being of the Intended Parents. The surrogate mother receives no further compensation for her role, there is no commercial benefit to the surrogate and it is not, what the legislation calls a “commercial surrogacy arrangement”.
Commercial surrogacy is defined in section 9 of the Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) which is as follows:
(1) For the purposes of this Act, a surrogacy arrangement is a commercial surrogacy arrangement if the arrangement involves the provision of a fee, reward or other material benefit or advantage to a person for the person or another person:
(a) agreeing to enter into or entering into the surrogacy arrangement, or
(b) giving up a child of the surrogacy arrangement to be raised by the intended parent or intended parents, or
(c) consenting to the making of a parentage order in relation to a child of the surrogacy arrangement.
(2) However, a surrogacy arrangement is not a commercial surrogacy arrangement if the only fee, reward or other material benefit or advantage provided for is the reimbursement of a birth mother’s surrogacy costs.
While surrogacy laws are continue to evolve, this foundational aspect of altruistic surrogacy has remained. We could opine and debate at length about the direction of surrogacy in Australia but for the time being, these are the boundaries within which we operate. We continue to assist both Intended Parents as well as Surrogates through this labour of love and if you find yourself stepping into one of these roles, or planning to do so, please get in touch, it would be our pleasure to walk this journey with you.
For more information on our surrogacy services and quotes on our professional fees, please contact us or visit our quoting page. One of our experienced surrogacy lawyers would be more than happy to get in touch to see how we can best assist you along your journey.