Northern Territory Legislation for Altruistic Surrogacy

Picture of baby feet

The Northern Territory Government is interested in hearing local views on the need for NT legislation for surrogacy.

The Northern Territory (NT) is the only jurisdiction in Australia without legislation governing surrogacy. Territorians therefore are unable to access surrogacy in the NT.

There have been a number of representations from community members for legislation to be introduced to enable surrogacy arrangements in the NT.

Laws relating to surrogacy vary across Australian states and territories. Although surrogacy has occurred throughout history, the issue remains debated and seen by some as having significant ethical, social and legal implications.

Surrogacy refers to an arrangement for a woman to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another couple or single person, with the intention of giving the child to the couple or person once the child is born.

Generally, state and territory laws governing surrogacy share a common set of principles:

  • The wellbeing and best interests of the child born from a surrogacy arrangement are paramount
  • Intended parents are not able to conceive or carry a baby
  • The surrogacy arrangement is not enforceable; however, some rights are enforceable
  • A woman’s decision to be a surrogate is made freely and without any form of coercion or pressure
  • The surrogacy must be altruistic, meaning a surrogate cannot be paid for carrying a baby for somebody else
  • Commercial surrogacy is illegal
  • A parentage order, a legal order actioned by a court, must be made to transfer parentage from surrogate mother to intended parents.

Key Areas for consideration:

Surrogacy involves many complex ethical, social and legal issues. Four key aspects to consider with surrogacy legislation in the Northern Territory include:

  • Ensuring the rights and responsibilities of parties involved in surrogacy arrangements, particularly the rights of the child born from a surrogate
  • Regulation of surrogacy arrangements (eligibility etc)
  • Mechanisms to access surrogacy
  • Legal recognition of parentage to override parentage presumptions

The Northern Territory Government is interested in hearing local views on the need for NT legislation for surrogacy.

The Northern Territory (NT) is the only jurisdiction in Australia without legislation governing surrogacy. Territorians therefore are unable to access surrogacy in the NT.

There have been a number of representations from community members for legislation to be introduced to enable surrogacy arrangements in the NT.

Laws relating to surrogacy vary across Australian states and territories. Although surrogacy has occurred throughout history, the issue remains debated and seen by some as having significant ethical, social and legal implications.

Surrogacy refers to an arrangement for a woman to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another couple or single person, with the intention of giving the child to the couple or person once the child is born.

Generally, state and territory laws governing surrogacy share a common set of principles:

  • The wellbeing and best interests of the child born from a surrogacy arrangement are paramount
  • Intended parents are not able to conceive or carry a baby
  • The surrogacy arrangement is not enforceable; however, some rights are enforceable
  • A woman’s decision to be a surrogate is made freely and without any form of coercion or pressure
  • The surrogacy must be altruistic, meaning a surrogate cannot be paid for carrying a baby for somebody else
  • Commercial surrogacy is illegal
  • A parentage order, a legal order actioned by a court, must be made to transfer parentage from surrogate mother to intended parents.

Key Areas for consideration:

Surrogacy involves many complex ethical, social and legal issues. Four key aspects to consider with surrogacy legislation in the Northern Territory include:

  • Ensuring the rights and responsibilities of parties involved in surrogacy arrangements, particularly the rights of the child born from a surrogate
  • Regulation of surrogacy arrangements (eligibility etc)
  • Mechanisms to access surrogacy
  • Legal recognition of parentage to override parentage presumptions
  • Altruistic Surrogacy Legislation in the Northern Territory

    The Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction in Australia without legislation governing surrogacy and Territorians are therefore unable to access surrogacy. There have been a number of representations from community members for legislation to be introduced to enable surrogacy and the Northern Territory Government is interested in hearing local views on the need for NT legislation for surrogacy.


    The Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction in Australia without legislation governing surrogacy and Territorians are therefore unable to access surrogacy. There have been a number of representations from community members for legislation to be introduced to enable surrogacy and the Northern Territory Government is interested in hearing local views on the need for NT legislation for surrogacy.


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