Holy Hormones Honey! Has the technological age of surrogacy and IVF redefined the moment of conception? Are we moving into a Brave New World where surrogacy becomes the norm? Judge Leann Clare’s decision and is sure to upset some. But thank goodness this decision was made by a woman.
World Historic Legal Decision About Conception
by Stephen Page
August 31, 2012
For natural conception, there is no difference, but with IVF there can be a significant difference. An embryo can be created from egg and sperm and then be frozen, sometimes for years, before being implanted in the mother to be to enable her to become pregnant.
The significance in Queensland is that the Surrogacy Act requires a surrogacy arrangement to be signed “before the child was conceived.” If a frozen embryo were used, and fertilisation were conception, then the surrogacy arrangement was almost certainly signed after the child was conceived, meaning that an order transferring parentage from the surrogate to the intended parents could not be made.
In the case, in which I acted for the surrogate, the embryo was created in 2008, the surrogacy arrangement was signed in April 2011, and implantation occurred in July 2011. If “conception” had occurred at fertilisation, then the intended parents could never have obtained an order transferring parentage to them.