Surrogacy Counselling

Narelle Dickinson has extensive experience in providing both pre and post surrogacy counselling.   As a clinical and health psychologist she is trained to undertake all assessment that may be required by the court to demonstrate capacity to undertake a surrogacy arrangement, and increase the likelihood of a smooth running surrogacy arrangement.  Narelle undertakes surrogacy counselling and assessment  in accordance with the Queensland Surrogacy legislation (2010), as well as the guidelines for surrogacy counselling developed by ANZICA and the ASRM.

Pre Surrogacy Counselling 

The Queensland Surrogacy Act 2010 requires the preparation of an Initial Counsellor’s  Report by an independent and appropriately qualified counsellor that states the following matters—

(a) the reasons the counsellor is an independent and appropriately qualified counsellor;

(b) that, for the application, the counsellor interviewed the birth mother, the birth mother’s spouse (if any), another birth parent (if any) and the applicant, or joint applicants, (the relevant persons);

(c) the date or dates of the interviews;

(d) the counsellor’s opinion formed as a result of the interviews that counselling about the surrogacy arrangement and its social and psychological implications was given to the relevant persons before the surrogacy arrangement was made.

Appointment 1: Appointments with the adults involved:  separate sessions with the commissioning parent/couple and surrogate (and partner).  In addition, each party is required to complete the Personality Assessment Inventory. Total time required: approximately 4 hours.                            

Appointment 2: A joint counselling session with all parties to finalise counselling. Total time required: approximately 2 hours.

Fee: Includes all counselling, plus report preparation $2100 (incl GST).  Further appointments after the initial assessment consultations can be scheduled if necessary, and additional fees will be charged. Future court documentation and attendance will incur additional costs.

A report will be sent to referring doctor approximately two weeks after the second appointment.  A copy of the information in this report is forwarded to the commissioning parent/couple.

Post Surrogacy Counselling

Following the delivery of the child, and prior to the application for a Parentage Order, The Queensland Surrogacy Act 2010 requires the preparation of a Surrogacy Guidance Report by an independent and appropriately qualified counsellor and state the following matters—

(a) the reasons the counsellor is an independent and appropriately qualified counsellor;

(b) that, for the application, the counsellor interviewed the birth mother, the birth mother’s spouse (if any), another birth parent (if any) and the applicant, or joint applicants, (the relevant persons);

(c) the date or dates of the interviews;

(d) the counsellor’s opinion formed as a result of the interviews relevant to the application for a parentage order including, for example, about the following matters—

(i) each relevant person’s understanding of—

  • the social and psychological implications of the making of a parentage order on the child and relevant persons;
  • openness and honesty about the child’s birth parentage being for the wellbeing, and in the best interests, of the child;
  • the care arrangements that the applicant, or joint applicants, have proposed for the child;
  • whether the making of a parentage order would be for the wellbeing, and in the best interests, of the child.

A surrogacy guidance report is outlined under section 32 of the Surrogacy Act 2010. It is required by the Court as additional information for the Court to make a judgment about a surrogacy application. In order to complete such a report, you will need to attend an in-person interview, with all parties, including the relevant child, being present and interviewed/observed.

Appointment 1: Appointments with the adults involved:  separate sessions with the commissioning parent/couple and surrogate (and partner).  A joint counselling session with all adults. (Total time varies, but generally 2-3 hours IN TOTAL) .

Fee: Includes all counselling, plus report preparation $1200 (incl GST).  Further appointments after the initial assessment consultation will be costed on an as used basis. Future court documentation and attendance will incur additional costs.

A report will be sent to the commissioning parent/couple approximately two weeks after the second appointment.

Please be aware that the Initial Surrogacy Counselling and the Surrogacy Guidance Counselling MUST be conducted by different counsellors.

 

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