People can start and grow their families through different fertility treatments. These include:
These can be complex processes, following strict legal requirements and having particular outcomes when it comes to considering who is a legal parent and the rights, if any, of a donor. However, with the right planning and information, it is a happy and great way to grow a family.
Each State and Territory have different laws about parentage.
– They were living together on a genuine domestic basis at the time of the IVF or insemination; and
– The non-birth partner consented to the IVF or insemination procedure.
It is vital to get legal advice about the legal implications of any proposed reproductive treatment before any decisions are made.
Known sperm and egg donors have no rights to a child born as a result of an assisted reproductive treatment IF they are not involved in the child’s life or have a relationship with the child.
This means that a donor that has a relationship with that child may have rights to seek parenting orders in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Family Law Court) in the future.
It is therefore recommended that parties record their intentions when it comes to the role of the donor and the relationship, if any, that the donor is to have with the child. These are called Donor Agreements.
Donor Agreements are not legally enforceable or binding but ensures that all parties to an assisted reproductive treatment are on the same page at the start of the process. While things may change down the track, it is helpful to have these discussions and getting legal advice first.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy involves a female surrogate carrying an embryo to full term on behalf of the intended parent or parents if they are unable to have children.
There are two types of surrogacy arrangements:
Each State and Territory have their own laws around surrogacy and the requirements.
Currently in Victoria, Assisted Reproductive Treatment/IVF Clinics are not allowed to carry out treatments for traditional surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy therefore occurs with at home insemination.
A Parentage Order either:
A Parentage Order is sought in the relevant State or Territory. In Victoria, this is the County Court of Victoria.
There are strict requirements around entering into a surrogacy arrangement and how to transfer the parentage from the birth mother (and her husband or male partner) to the intended parents. Detailed information about how we can help with surrogacy arrangements can be found here.
If, for whatever reason, a Parentage Order is not a viable option or there is a dispute about a child, parties will need to consider whether they have grounds to issue proceedings in the Family Law Court.
Our team provides tailored advice and representation in relation to Donor Agreements, surrogacy arrangements (both gestational and traditional) and any parenting proceedings in the Family Law Court in relation to a child born as a result of an assisted reproductive treatment.