Surrogacy & Adoption

Adelta Legal can assist you and your family with the legal aspects of lawful surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology. We can also assist in navigating the rules and requirements of adoption, discharge of adoption and declaration of paternity.


A lawful surrogacy agreement is a written agreement between a surrogate mother and the intending parents whereby the surrogate agrees to become pregnant and surrender custody of, and rights in relation to, any child born and receives no valuable consideration other than for expenses connected with the pregnancy.

Until changes to South Australia’s surrogacy legislation in 2019, single women and same sex couples were prevented from accessing surrogacy in our State.

Surrogacy is now much more accessible to all types of families in South Australia. It is now possible to access surrogacy if you are a single intending parent, if you are in a same sex relationship, or if you or your partner cannot provide any reproductive material.

Another significant change was to the expenses that the surrogate mother could claim during the pregnancy. These expenses are now broader, for example claiming a loss of income, psychological support during and after birth, travel expenses, childcare, insurance, medicines, and even maternity clothes.

Adelta Legal has some of Adelaide’s leading lawyers who practice in this field who are available to provide general advice to you on surrogacy matters and can work with you to create a lawful surrogacy agreement to ensure parentage orders can be obtained following the successful birth of a child from a surrogate parent.

Adelta Legal can provide advice to both intending parents and surrogate parents and offers fixed fee arrangement for preparation of agreements.

Adoption and Discharge of Adoption

South Australia has recently amended laws in relation to adoption within the Adoption Act 1988 (SA). As an adult, you are now able to make an application for adoption or for discharge of an adoption order in the Youth Court of South Australia and have Court Orders made discharging your adoption.

This Application will need to address the reason you wish to apply for adoption or discharge the adoption for example, if you consider it is in your best interests to have the order made or discharged, taking into account your rights and wellbeing.

If successful, a discharge order would have the effect of the original birth certificate or adoption order being voided and you will thereafter be able to change your birth certificate through the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Declaration of Paternity

Should you require an order for the declaration of paternity, we can assist you with making an application in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to determine paternity or parenthood.

You would need to first undertake a DNA test and have the results available to support your application.

Our friendly team at Adelta Legal would be more than happy to assist if you would like advice or have questions with respect to the following:

We have offices in the city and at Tea Tree Gully for the convenience of clients.  In addition, for the elderly or infirm, visits can be made to clients at home or in hospital.

Call us on 08 8415 5000 or send an email to make an appointment.

Key people for Surrogacy and Adoption

Catherine Hokin

Senior Associate

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Senior Associate

LL.B, BA (Jur), BA (Hons)

Catherine has more than 25 years of experience practising in family law and civil litigation.

Catherine was admitted in 1995 having gained a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) with Honours in Politics and a Law Degree with Honours at the Adelaide University.

Catherine joined the firm when Lempriere Abbott McLeod merged with Adelta Legal in 2021.

Along with expertise in all areas of family law, Catherine has substantial experience in general civil litigation including property matters and professional negligence.

Catherine is committed to providing support and a high standard of professional service to clients in the following areas:

  • family law
  • property settlement
  • divorce
  • de facto matters
  • financial agreements
  • spousal maintenance
  • child support
  • surrogacy
  • adoption.

Catherine is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Association of Collaborative Professionals.

Contact Catherine Hokin

Catherine Leis

Senior Associate

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Senior Associate

B.A., LL.B. (Hons)

Catherine has over 20 years of experience and expertise in all aspects of family law.  She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Adelaide University.

Catherine provides  pragmatic and empathetic advice to individuals during their relationship, after a separation and if they are having difficulties with parenting arrangements.

Being raised on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia Catherine understands the specific challenges faced by those in rural and regional areas.  She has assisted many metropolitan, rural and agricultural clients to navigate the complexities of family law especially where there is intergenerational business or farming enterprises including companies, trusts and self managed superannuation funds.

Catherine can provide specialised assistance in the following areas:

  • divorce
  • parenting matters
  • pre-relationship and pre-marriage financial agreements
  • de facto and matrimonial property with complex property pools, farms and family businesses
  • spousal maintenance
  • child support and adult child maintenance
  • children’s and parenting matters including relocation
  • mediation

Being Adelaide metropolitan based since 2012, Catherine has raised two children who have experienced both city and country living like her.  They are all avid travellers and campers.

When she can, Catherine likes to get away with friends and family to explore the wide brown land, South Australia’s wineries, restaurants and especially the gin distilleries.

Catherine is a qualified mediator having successfully completed the AIFLAM mediation program in October 2023.

She is a member of Family Law Section; Law Society of SA; and AIFLAM and she is on the Practice & Ethics Committee of Law Society

Contact Catherine Leis