A guiding light on surrogacy journey

Stephen and Mitchell Page with the QLS President's Medal.
Stephen Page with husband Mitchell and the QLS President’s Medal.

When it comes to surrogacy law, Stephen Page sets the bar internationally.

Since 1988, he has advised in more than 1800 surrogacy journeys for clients from Australia and over 30 other countries.

He was the first fellow outside North America to be invited to join the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and is the founder of the LGBT Family Law Institute in Australia and a board member of the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand.

His expertise in surrogacy has been widely recognised, and on Friday night at the Legal Profession Dinner his enormous contributions to this and other fields were recognised with the presentation of the Queensland Law Society President’s Medal by President Chloé Kopilović.

Stephen Page

“To be judged by four former Presidents of the Society as being worthy of this prestigious award is a great honour and deeply humbling,” Stephen said this week. “After I received the award, several gay practitioners came up to me to congratulate me. To see a gay colleague receive this award was highly meaningful for them.”


Stephen said the biggest issue in surrogacy law today was the lack of willing surrogates.

“As Australia refuses to allow surrogates to be paid a fee, there is a shortage,” he said. “In rough terms, for every child born to Australian parents via surrogacy, four will be born overseas.

“No woman would want to risk death or injury from pregnancy and childbirth to be a surrogate, unless she had a particular commitment to do so, or was a friend or family member of the intended parents – or she was being paid.”

He noted that there had been no review of Queensland surrogacy laws since 2010.

“Other states, such as South Australia and Victoria, have made changes to make the journey easier. Western Australia is currently doing the same.

“I hope that the current Senate inquiry into universal access to reproductive healthcare leads to some incremental change.”


Stephen is the Director of Page Provan and in 2020 was the inaugural recipient of the Pride in Law Award. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 1985 from the then Queensland Institute of Technology (now QUT) and was admitted in 1987. In 1988, he made a decision to specialise in family law and received his specialist accreditation in 1996.

Stephen speaking at the Legal Profession Dinner.

Stephen said he had focused on family law since he commenced articles in 1985, and would continue to do so.

“I love helping people who have to move on from a relationship and get on their own feet, and helping those who want to become parents, whether through surrogacy, posthumous use, sperm, egg or embryo donation, or adoption,” he said. “To serve others is a great honour.”

In a decade’s time, he hoped to be continuing his current work, plus advocating for change, speaking at seminars and conferences, and being a member of various committees.

“I have spoken at over 250 seminars and other presentations,” he said. “Hopefully that number keeps going up. I currently serve on eight committees – three for the International Academy of Family Lawyers, one each for the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, American Bar Association, LGBT Family Law Institute in Australia, Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand, and Australian Lawyers for Human Rights.


“I hope I can continue at the current pace. I have a book to write for the American Bar Association, a chapter for a Canadian colleague and an article for American colleagues. I hope those opportunities continue. I anticipate updating my book, When not If: Surrogacy for Australians, by then. I don’t want to be bored, and I want to contribute.”

While many of Stephen’s notable achievements were mentioned at Friday night’s presentation, he said one of his proudest moments was overlooked.

“It was pointed out after the ceremony that one of my achievements was missed – that how my husband Mitchell and I met was in Trent Dalton’s Love Stories – yes, we are in the book!” he said.

John Teerds is QLS Publications Manager and has been editor of Proctor since 2003.

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