Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Update on Victoria v NSW surrogacy: move over Mr Asia

One of the fascinating things about practising in surrogacy is that things can change quickly.

Recently I blogged about children being different south of the Murray. Essentially if the intended parents lived in NSW (so that the surrogacy arrangement was a NSW surrogacy arrangement) but the child was born in Victoria, while the Supreme Court of NSW parentage order would mean that the intended parents would be named as the parents of the child for all purposes under Australian law, they could not be named on the Victorian birth register. Clearly ludicrous!

Some months ago I wrote to the NSW and Victorian Attorneys-General seeking that this be rectified.

I am pleased to advise that this has now been fixed by them- by a less than obvious path.

What will now happen in those cases is that the NSW Supreme Court will still make a parentage order for NSW intended parents when the children were born in Victoria. The NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages will then issue a new birth certificate showing the new parents (but no doubt showing that the child was born in Melbourne, etc. in Victoria).

The NSW Registrar will then write to the Victorian Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages who will then destroy the Victorian records- so that there will be only one birth register for the child. Presumably this will prevent a repeat of a fraud used by Mr Asia. Terrance John Clark, aka Mr Asia was a notorious criminal (later featured in Underbelly) who went to cemeteries to find the details of children who had died - so that he could then get false passports in their names. Once the practice was exposed, thankfully the rules were tightened up to prevent that fraud. If two birth certificates remained in existence- with different parents- it might be possible to repeat that fraud.

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