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Surrogacy is a unique and specialised area of law and it is crucial to receive professional legal advice if you decide it is the right option to expand your family. This article explores essential considerations that individuals and couples should contemplate before embarking on the surrogacy journey, to ensure a smooth process for all parties involved.

Are you eligible for surrogacy?

The law in South Australia requires intended parent(s) to have a medical or social need for surrogacy. Often due to medical reasons, surrogacy is the only option for individuals or couples to start or expand their families. To enter a surrogacy arrangement in South Australia you must also be 25 years of age or older, an Australian citizen or permanent resident and at least one intended parent must be domiciled in South Australia.

How do I find a surrogate?

You may have a family member or friend who is willing to act as your surrogate. If not, the process of finding the right person may be more difficult. Fortunately there is support out there. In South Australia there is a surrogacy community Facebook group for surrogates and intended parents. Connecting with a like-minded community and engaging with others who have prior experience can help with you gain valuable insights on your surrogacy journey.

The law in South Australia allows for intended parent(s) to advertise for a surrogate, provided it is not for financial gain. You might consider sharing your story on platforms like social media to achieve a greater reach in your search for the ideal surrogate.

The vital role of Lawful Surrogacy Agreements

Securing a Lawful Surrogacy Agreement is a crucial step for those using surrogacy in South Australia. The state has established specific pre-conditions to ensure the ethical and legal aspects of surrogacy are upheld.

In South Australia it is a pre-condition before signing a Lawful Surrogacy Agreement that all parties have been provided with independent legal advice. It is important that you obtain advice from a specialist in this area to avoid any complications down the track. A lawyer specialising in surrogacy will be able to explain the legal process and the eligibility criterion to be met under the Surrogacy Act 2019 (SA).

A Lawful Surrogacy Agreement is not enforceable but is required to be in place prior to the conception of the child. The intended parent(s) are obligated to apply to the Youth Court for parentage orders after the child’s birth, facilitating the transfer of parentage from the birth parents to the intended parent(s). The absence of such an agreement may affect the Youth Court’s ability to grant parentage orders, meaning alternative legal avenues may need to be explored to secure recognition as the child’s legal parents.


Counselling is a prerequisite for both the intended parent(s) and surrogate before finalising a Lawful Surrogacy Agreement. This is essential to assess the suitability of all participants entering the arrangements. The primary objective of counselling is to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the psychological and social implications associated with the agreement, and to confirm that the intentions of all parties align with the best interests of the child born from the surrogacy arrangement. Counselling aims to establish a well-informed and emotionally prepared foundation to foster a positive and supportive environment for all involved.

The law requires that this counselling service be accredited for providing surrogacy counselling, consistent with the guidelines published by the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association (ANZICA) and any relevant guidelines published by the National Heath and Medical Research Council.

How can we help?

If you have any questions about the surrogacy process or are considering surrogacy for your family, our dedicated and experienced team are here to help.

You can contact Tayla Inglis on 8414 3400 or by email at [email protected]. For more information, read our article on Five of the most common questions about surrogacy. We are here to assist you make your surrogacy experience as smooth as informed as possible.