About surrogacy in Western Australia

Surrogacy refers to a type of assisted reproductive technology where there is an arrangement for a woman to carry and give birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple. 

The parties to surrogacy are:

  • the birth mother who will carry and give birth to the child; and
  • the arranged parent/s who will raise the child.

Types of surrogacy permitted in Western Australia:

  • traditional surrogacy: using birth mother egg and arranged parent or donor sperm;
  • gestational surrogacy: using arranged parent and/or donor gametes.

Surrogacy arrangements must be approved by the Reproductive Technology Council (external site).

Access to surrogacy

In Western Australia access to surrogacy arrangements are limited to:

  • heterosexual married or de facto couples who are unable to conceive a child due to medical reasons or are likely to conceive a child affected by a genetic abnormality or disease; or
  • a woman who is unable to conceive or give birth to a child due to medical reasons; or is likely to conceive a child affected by a genetic abnormality or disease.

Medical reasons above to do not include a reason arising from a person's age.

Approval requirements
  • The birth mother must be at least 25 years of age.
  • The birth mother must have had at least one child (except in exceptional circumstances).
  • The Surrogacy Agreement has been signed by:
    • the arranged parents;
    • the birth mother and her husband or partner (if applicable); and
    • any donor/s and their spouse or partner (if applicable).
  • All parties to the Surrogacy Agreement must:
    • undertake counselling;
    • be assessed for medical and psychological suitability for surrogacy;
    • receive independent legal advice.

After the necessary steps above have been completed, there is a 3-month cooling off period before an approval can be issued.

A surrogacy arrangement cannot be approved if the birth mother has become pregnant under the arrangement.

Same sex surrogacy

The laws around surrogacy currently limit access to women and heterosexual couples. Broader access to surrogacy is available outside Western Australia.

The law in Western Australia is being reviewed and the WA Government has committed to providing equity of access to altruistic surrogacy for women who face impending infertility, single men, people in same-sex relationships, transgender people and intersex people.

Surrogacy for reward

Surrogacy cannot be for reward.  Only altruistic surrogacy is permitted in Western Australia.

There are significant penalties for:

  • making a surrogacy arrangement for reward;
  • receiving "valuable consideration" for introducing parties for a surrogacy arrangement, whether or not that arrangement is for reward;
  • publishing advertisements seeking or offering surrogacy for reward; or
  • providing a service to facilitate a surrogacy arrangement for reward.

Reasonable expenses may be reimbursed.

More information

Reproductive Technology Unit

Email: rtu@health.wa.gov.au
Mail to: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849