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The Politics of Everything

Apr 13, 2021

My guest is Stephen Page, an award-winning family lawyer from Brisbane. Admitted in 1987, Stephen has been an accredited family law specialist since 1996. He has presented at conferences around the world about family law. Stephen is a Fellow of both the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. He holds several committee positions, including with the American Bar Association and the Queensland Law Society.

Stephen is an international expert for the World Bank in its Women, Business and the Law survey, and he lectures in Law and Ethics in Reproductive Medicine at the University of New South Wales.

He has written and presented about family law and surrogacy around the world including for the International Bar Association and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Stephen has received a number of awards, including the inaugural Pride in Law Award (2020). When he left uni in the ’80s, he like other students wondered how the law might deal with reality when life began.

To his amazement, in 2012 he acted in the first case in the world that said what it was to conceive a child. He never expected to be a pioneer in his field, but he was not prepared to accept the world as it was. In his spare time, Stephen chairs his daughter’s daycare committee.

Hear from Stephen on:

  1. How has family law changed in the time you have practiced it? What are the most significant legal changes that stand out in your professional experience, and what have they meant for families?
  2. Surrogacy laws are complex and have perhaps changed over time with a rise in people seeking legal advice upfront, perhaps where there are health or fertility risks for women to bear a child or same-sex couples wanting to have children with their own genetics from one or more partners.
  3. Is it simpler to have a surrogate overseas and bring a child home to Australia than locally? Why or why not?
  4. You have your own personal experience of family law with the legal recognition in 2019 that your daughter Elizabeth, born via a surrogate mother and your husband’s sperm, and in QLD you set about closing a loophole prior where you could have up to 4 persons named on her birth certificate. Tell us more.
  5. The family court merger announced earlier this year has had a mix of reactions, many of them hostile by your peers. What is the reality of this for families going through the system now?

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