Legal tug-of-war highlights flaws of current surrogacy system

A NEWBORN baby has been used as a bargaining chip between its biological parents and its surrogate mother after a surrogacy arrangement in north Queensland went sour.

When the baby was born last week there was no certainty over who would take home the child, with intended parents and surrogate in a standoff about expenses claimed by the surrogate that had not been paid.

The matter has now resolved, but observers say the case highlights how Australia's surrogacy laws can leave all parties relying on goodwill, and emphasises the need for urgent law reform.

Speaking exclusively to 7.30, Alexa (whose last name cannot be used for legal reasons) explained how she felt used after her relationship with the intended parents of the child she carried broke down during the pregnancy.

"It started out for love ... with me wanting to do something for them," Alexa said.

Read more on the ABC.