Altruistic surrogacy is legal in all parts of Australia except the northern territory, where no laws govern this assisted reproduction method. In this country, however, commercial surrogacy is treated as a criminal offence.
In New South Wales, Australian Capital, and Queensland, those found capable of international commercial surrogacy risk hefty penalties, or imprisonments of up to one year, two years, one year, and three years respectively.
It is important to note that previously, those who had children in Australia through gestational surrogacy or egg donation had to adopt the baby after birth. This is because the baby was registered as born to the natural mother. Nonetheless, more starts later changed their laws in a bid to give intended parents proper rights.
The Australian Capital Territory legalized altruistic surrogacy in 2004, while Victoria passed the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act in 2008.
In 2009, Western Australia passed a law that permitted altruistic surrogacy for opposite-sex couples but made it a criminal offence for a single parent and gay couples.
In Queensland, altruistic surrogacy was made legal in 2010, while Tasmania and New South Wales did the same in 2013.
In 2017, a bill that made IVF and surrogacy available for gay couples was passed and received royal assent.