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This information is subject to change without notice
Children born through a surrogacy arrangement- general information sheet
Surrogacy is an arrangement, usually contractual, under which a woman (the “gestational” or birth mother) agrees to bear a child for another person or persons (the commissioning parent/s) with the intention that the child be handed over to those person/s immediately or very soon after the birth. The persons involved may or may not be genetically related to the child.
Anyone considering entering into a surrogacy arrangement outside Australia is urged to exercise extreme caution and should ensure they are aware of the legal status of surrogacy in the country in which the arrangement is to occur as well as in their home State or Territory in Australia.
Australia’s international obligations
As a party to the United Nationals Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, Australia is committed to protecting the fundamental rights of children. These Conventions include obligations to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children.
The Department manages cases involving surrogacy arrangements entered into overseas with extreme caution to ensure that Australia's citizenship and visa provisions are not used to circumvent adoption laws and other child welfare laws.
A child born overseas through a surrogacy arrangement may be eligible for Australian citizenship by descent if they had an Australian citizen parent at the time of their birth (in accordance with s16 of the Act).
As the legal status of surrogacy arrangements differs from country to country, and sometimes, from different jurisdictions within a country, each surrogacy arrangement needs to be looked at carefully in the context of the local laws where the child was born. For Thailand specific information on surrogacy please see
In order to verify that the claimed Australian citizen parent was a parent of the child at the time of birth, the decision maker can request evidence of the parent/child link such as DNA test results and/or medical procedure documents.
In some countries, where surrogacy arrangements are regulated and handled through a court process, the court documentation may already establish the biological link between the Australia citizen parent and the child. Documentation from the treating doctor of the relevant medical clinic may also confirm the biological link. In such cases, this documentation may be accepted as evidence of the biological link and DNA testing is therefore not required.