Australians' use of surrogacy

Sam Everingham, Martyn Stafford-Bell, Karin Hammarberg

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the characteristics of parents and intended parents and their current and planned behaviour in relation to surrogacy arrangements. Design, setting and participants: Members of two Australian parenting support forums who were considering surrogacy or were currently or previously in a surrogacy arrangement were invited to complete an online survey during July 2013. Main outcome measures: Sociodemographic characteristics; proportions engaging in domestic uncompensated and overseas compensated arrangements; countries used; costs incurred; and impact on behaviour of state laws criminalising compensated surrogacy. Results: Of 1135 potential participants, 312 (27 ) commenced the survey. Of these, 24 did not fulfil inclusion criteria and 29 did not complete the survey. Eighty-nine respondents were considering surrogacy and 170 had commenced or completed surrogacy. Many respondents (53 ) considered both overseas and domestic surrogacy. Among those who only considered one option, overseas surrogacy was considered significantly more often than domestic surrogacy (92 v 8 ; P <0.05). Only 22 respondents (8 ) commenced with a surrogate in Australia. The most common countries used for compensated surrogacy were India and the United States, and average total estimated costs were 69 212 for India and 172 347 for the US. Barriers discouraging domestic surrogacy included concern that the surrogate might keep the child (75 ), belief that it was too long and complicated a process (68 ) and having no one of the right age or life stage to ask (61 ). Few intended parents (9 ) were deterred by state laws criminalising compensated surrogacy. Conclusions: Most Australian intended parents via surrogacy consider or use overseas compensated arrangements. Laws banning compensated surrogacy do not appear to deter those seeking surrogacy arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270 - 273
Number of pages4
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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