Surrogacy is a minefield for black-letter lawyers, not just for emotional parents, as a recent case in Australia shows. Australia has a federal system, and each state has its own laws, even though there are constant attempts to harmonise them. In New South Wales, where Sydney is located, there is no law specifically governing surrogacy. This led to some unexpected results for Sharon, Paul, Michael, Lauren and Clive.
Before having chemotherapy, Sharon had some of her eggs stored. In October 2008, after these had been fertilised with her husband Paul’s sperm, her own mother Lauren gave birth to Michael. For Lauren, it was easy to hand over the child and she felt no emotional involvement.