Laws giving parents of children born through surrogacy legal recognition have been passed by NSW parliament. Under these laws, couples will be able to apply to the court for orders which recognise their parental responsibility for children born though surrogacy. Previously such rights were only able to be recognised through either adoption or a sharing of parental responsibility.
The new laws will make it easier to carry out routine parental responsibilities such as making decisions about health care, enrolling children in school or applying for a passport. They also ensure equality in relation to inheritances or compensation which may be payable to children as a result of the death or injury of a parent.
The laws contain appropriate safeguards to prevent commercial surrogacy, or babies being for sale. The court must be satisfied that the arrangement was entered into prior to conception, the arrangement was not one for payment of the surrogate other than the necessary medical expenses and that all parties consent to the court orders.
The blessing of the gift of a child to appropriate parents is the greatest gift that anyone could ever receive or give. Provided there is appropriate gate-keeping to ensure that children not become a commodity, this would appear to be a piece of legislation that provides a win-win for all parties involved.
If you and your partner are considering the option of surrogacy, you need to consult with a lawyer before conception occurs to ensure that orders are put in place to protect the rights of all those involved.