Donor Conception and Surrogacy Lawyers! Why do you need them?

Posted on 16 August 2020

At Women’s Health Melbourne, we know that beautiful families are formed in many ways. We are experts at assisting couples requiring donor sperm and donor egg conception and gestational surrogacy for same sex male couples and women who cannot carry a pregnancy.

While we manage the medical side, there are legal questions too. Deanna Elsner is an experienced family lawyer with an interest in reproduction and the law. We thank Deanna for sharing her knowledge in this guest blog and for joining us on our podcast Knocked Up.

Donor Conception and Surrogacy Lawyers! Why do you need them?

What are they good for? Actually lots! It should be a positive experience getting legal advice. My clients leave with the support and education needed to help make informed decisions when pursuing donor conception or surrogacy agreements in Australia or overseas.

Surrogacy agreements and donor conception agreements are different from other areas of family law in that the parties are not really adversaries. My clients really like each other! You are about to embark on an amazing, exciting, positive experience with each other. Our job as lawyers is to support the parties to understand the legal framework for donor conception and surrogacy agreements, the consequences for entering into the agreement/arrangement and the processes involved for entering into pre-conception and post-birth Parentage Orders. The appointments and conversations I have with my clients are uplifting and positive and enriching and I can really feel the anticipation and excitement as we discuss the legal agreements and court process. You are about to make a baby!

What can you expect from the donor conception or surrogacy agreement? Agreements are documents in writing and evidence of what the parties’ intentions are as intended parents, surrogates or surrogate partners. The signed agreement can be used as evidence for the clinic say prior to doing an embryo transfer and possibly later on for the court when entering into Parentage Orders. It is not legally binding however other than as it outlines the intentions of the parties and in so far as surrogacy is concerned the surrogate’s expenses and the intended parent/s obligation to cover them.

It is so important to set the expectations between the parties’ from the start and focusing on building the relationship, accessing support through counselling and other networks. The lawyers job is not to divide the parties but to support them and build a strong foundation for a positive journey.

Deanna Elsner is a family law, donor conception and surrogacy lawyer in Melbourne. Deanna can assist with Australian and overseas sperm donor, egg donor or surrogacy arrangements with all forms of advice including drafting to reviewing agreements. If you are considering entering into a donor agreement it would be a good idea to consider discussing terms and expectations with your donor. Deanna will provide you with the support and education you need to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing donor agreements and surrogacy in Australia or overseas.

Deanna offers Zoom and telephone appointments between 9:00 to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday.


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