In 2013, it was reported that Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, paid £20,000 (AUD$26,168) to a Californian surrogate for carrying and giving birth to their son, Zachary. This was the second time John and Furnish had used the services of the surrogate, who was paid £17,340 (AUD$31,358) for giving birth to the couple’s first son in 2010.
The couple aren’t the only celebrities to have used a surrogate – from Nicole Kidman to Sarah Jessica Parker, surrogacy is becoming an increasingly popular option, and the USA is leading the way in legalising for profit surrogacy.
So, for those women wanting a career change and the chance to rub shoulders with their fav celebs, is paid surrogacy legal in Queensland?
The short answer is no.
The Surrogacy Act 2010 (Qld) prohibits paid or “commercial” surrogacy, meaning that prospective surrogates will have to let go of their dreams of being paid to hang out with Nic and Keith. Only “altruistic”, or not for profit, surrogacy is permitted.
This is consistent with other legislation in Australia prohibiting people from profiting from donating blood and other body parts.
However, the Act does permit surrogates to agree with prospective parents about the reimbursement of a surrogate’s “reasonable” costs, which can be agreed in writing in advance. Such expenses usually include legal, medical and counselling expenses; however, the parents and the surrogate can largely agree on what should or should not be reimbursed.