When a gay couple or single man starts thinking about trying for a family, there are lots of issues to consider.


Many relate to how you might go about creating your family. Is overseas surrogacy an option? What about altruistic surrogacy in Victoria? What relationship might your family have with your egg donor or surrogate? Would you consider co-parenting with a single woman or lesbian couple? How about fostering? The Options for gay men wanting to become parents (rather than known donors) are not straightforward, and some are costly. However, there are increasing number of gay dads in Victoria – it’s important to find out from others what has worked for them, and to get support.

Various factors will influence the decisions you make. The main ones fall into two groups: the relevant laws, and your personal values and circumstances. Click on the links below for more information, and discussion of many key issues.

All of this information is available to download as part of our Rainbow Families information kit, including a PDF for prospective gay male parents, and the corresponding information sheets for prospective egg donors and surrogates. There is a separate PDF and section of this website for men interested in exploring being a known donor to a single woman or lesbian couple.

Thinking it through

Of course, you need to understand the relevant laws and your Options for conception. But a good place to start is with by considering your personal values and circumstances. How would you (ideally) like to create and raise your family? Read more

Altruistic surrogacy and egg donation in Victoria

The 2008 reforms opened up the option of altruistic surrogacy as a way for gay men to create their families, and be legally recognised as their children’s parents. Here we give a brief run-down on what is involved, along with some of the key legal issues.

Overseas surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy is not available in Australia. However, some Australian men travel to conceive their children through overseas surrogacy services. At present, court parenting orders are still required to recognise the parenting role of both the biological and non-biological father in these circumstances.

Fostering: another way of welcoming children into your family

Foster care agencies have long recognised that gay couples and single men can provide loving, stable homes for children require short or long term foster care of those on permanent care orders.

Exploring co-parenting with a lesbian couple or single woman

Co-parenting mean sharing all significant parenting responsibilities, such as living with (whether in one household or two), providing for the child, and making both day-to-day and longer-term decisions for them. It is a very different role from that of known donor, and doesn’t fit any current legal ‘box’ in Victoria, although there are ways to legally recognize everyone’s parental roles in a co-parent family.

Discussions and agreements with prospective co-parents

It is absolutely critical that everyone involved in discussions about creating a co-parent family is very clear about what they want, and that it is what everyone wants. Here we list some key issues for discussion, some issues around the law and co-parent families, and ideas of what you could include in a written agreement.

If relationships break down

Every family has issues from time to time. Ideally, you’ll be able to sort them out yourselves. Hopefully, you will have made an agreement upfront about what should happen if you can’t. You might consider involving a mediator or counsellor before things get too difficult. Do whatever you can to stay out of court. But if you do end up in there, remember that a court cannot change a child’s legal parentage, but is likely to seek to maintain the child’s relationships with all of the significant people in their life. Always seek legal advice on the specifics of your situation.


Rainbow Families Council produced the information in this section of our website in October 2010. We have made every effort to ensure the kit is correct, but accept no liability for information given. Information will be regularly updated on our website. We strongly advise that you seek medical and legal advice and specialist counselling relevant to your specific situation.