Last week I had the pleasure of hosting visiting Canadian surrogacy lawyer Nicolle Kopping-Pavars in two surrogacy/fertility presentations in Sydney.
The first was to the NSW branch of ANZICA, the Australia and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association. Nicolle gave an overview of surrogacy in Canada. I gave an update of surrogacy and fertility law in NSW.
The second was to a public seminar about surrogacy in Canada. Surrogacy in Canada is an option for those from NSW, Qld and the ACT. In those jurisdictions it is an offence to enter into or to offer to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement wherever it might be, if you are ordinarily resident in those places (or in the case of NSW as an alternative, if you are domiciled there).
Surrogacy in Canada is an option because it is also altruistic, i.e., a fee is not paid to the surrogate. So far so good. Treatment does not need to occur in Canada. For example, an embryo might be able to be created in Australia and exported to Canada for implantation there.
Another possibility, if donors are required, is to have the embryos created in California or Nevada, with implantation there.
There are also issues from a legal viewpoint that the surrogacy contract in Canada does not run foul of Australian law. It is essential therefore that the whole process is managed from both ends- both in Australia and Canada- by experienced fertility lawyers who know what they are doing, to minimise risk.