Australia’s International Obligations
As a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, Australia is committed to protecting the fundamental rights of children. These Conventions include obligations to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children.
While Australia does not have obligations toward children who are not within its jurisdiction, extreme caution is exercised in cases involving surrogacy arrangements entered into overseas to ensure that Australia\'s citizenship provisions are not used to circumvent adoption laws and other child welfare laws.
Children born through surrogacy arrangements in Nepal
Surrogacy in Nepal Not Recommended
The Australian government updated its Smartraveller website in August 2014 to advise that surrogacy in Nepal is not recommended
See: http://smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Nepal (specifically under the “Laws” tab)
Australians considering surrogacy in Nepal should consult with a lawyer and contact the DIBP office at Australia’s High Commission in New Delhi at Citizenship.NewDelhi@dfat.gov.au before entering into any arrangement.
The Department of Home Affairs (HA) strongly recommends commissioning parents not to consider surrogacy in Nepal given there are no robust arrangements, particularly around the recognition of legal parentage and protections for those engaged in surrogacy procedures. There has been a strong message not to engage in such arrangements in countries where surrogacy is unregulated such as Nepal since August 2014
On 25 August 2015, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued an interim order to immediately halt commercial surrogacy services in Nepal. The status of surrogacy arrangements commissioned prior to 25 August 2015 is unclear. The Australian Government is seeking to clarify this with Nepalese authorities. The Australian Government strongly recommends that commissioning parents not consider surrogacy in Nepal. Please monitor Smartraveller for updates.
Australian citizens should be aware that some agencies offering surrogacy services in Nepal recruit vulnerable and potentially exploited women from very low socio-economic backgrounds as surrogate mothers. The women are often illiterate and have no or limited understanding of surrogacy contracts. They often do not have proper identity documents. Some agencies have provided false, misleading and/or fraudulent claims and documents to prospective commissioning parents and the Australian High Commission. This may have significant impact on the processing times and outcome of an application.
Persons considering entering into an agreement for surrogacy in Nepal despite Australian Smartraveller advice should exercise a high level of caution in engaging in an unregulated and, in a potentially, unscrupulous industry.
Australians who have already begun the surrogacy process in Nepal should be aware that there may be delays in departing Nepal with your child. The Australian Government is aware that a number of Australians have not been able to obtain exit visas for their children born through surrogacy to depart Nepal. Presently the Australian Government is making appropriate representations to the Nepal Government to implement exit arrangements for Australian citizen children.