Sam is dad to two girls Zoe & Ruby via surrogacy and has become one of the globe’s foremost commentators and researchers on surrogacy trends. He convenes conferences and seminars for intended parents in Ireland, UK, Australia, Asia and Scandinavia. Sam consults with singles and couples from around the globe to assist them to plan safe and reliable routes to building families through surrogacy. He has behind-the-scenes knowledge of providers of egg donation and surrogacy around the globe. He has seen the best and worst that surrogacy can deliver. He continues to promote best practice through conferences, one-on-one consultation and online resources. He runs a healthcare research consultancy and is the author of three books and is a non-executive director of the charity Surrogacy Australia.
Admitted to practice in the High Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria, Ben is a member of the Law Institute Of Victoria. He has advocated extensively in Family Law and has represented clients in relation to domestic altruistic surrogacy for over a decade. He has advised extensively on domestic and international Adoption and Surrogacy, and takes a personal interest in this unique and specialised area of law.
Nino is a doctor and public health professional. She is also a Lecturer and Entrepreneur with 12-years experience in marketing and healthcare management. She studies medicine at Tbilisi State University and completed her MBA in Hospital and Healthcare Management at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Now, working at Georgian-American Center for Reproductive Medicine – Reproart , she sees marketing as a bridge between healthcare organizations and the patient to offer patient-centric systems and services. In her opinion, every couple has the right to become a parent and she helps infertile couples to fulfil their dreams of parenthood.
IVF Specialist, Medical Director, Forth Worth Fertility USA
IVF Specialist, Medical Director, Forth Worth Fertility USA
As one of the top board-certified reproductive endocrinologists in Texas, Dr. Kaufmann specializes in fertility care ranging from to intrauterine insemination to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and fertility preservation.
Nationally recognized as a leader in IVF, Dr. Kaufmann continually invests considerable resources and his passion for this specialty into establishing the most comprehensive infertility and cryopreservation program in the nation. Dr. Kaufmann leads a recognized team of physicians, nurses, embryologists and support staff providing personalized patient care. Dr. Kaufmann has been recognized annually by peers and patients alike. Peers appointed him Top Doctor in Fort Worth, Texas magazine from 2005-2019 and patient bestowed him with Most Compassionate Doctor Award, Patient’s Choice Award and Top 10 Doctors on Vitals.com.
Kristin oversees the financial aspects of Simple Surrogacy, as well as solely managing the escrow accounts of clients. Her legal responsibilities include determining state laws and required legal proceedings in the Surrogate’s and Intended Parents’ state of residency; locating separate legal counsel experienced in surrogacy law for Intended Parents and Surrogate; review and assist in negotiating the surrogacy contract between Intended Parents and Surrogate; assure both parties that contractual agreements are met; and overseeing all necessary legal filings and procedures to establish parental rights for Intended Parents.
Kristin’s escrow responsibilities include opening of escrow; manage escrow account; monitor and authorize disbursements in accordance with your contract; reimburse expenses to Surrogate, including prescription medications and co-payments; and ensuring Intended Parents have access to all itemized monthly statements of the escrow activity. Kristen is an experienced three time Egg Donor, and parent, and is very experienced with all aspects of surrogacy involving Egg Donation.
Stephen has practised in family law since 1987 . He has been an accredited family law specialist since 1996 and is a partner of Page Provan Lawyers. He has acted for surrogacy clients throughout Australia since 1989. Stephen writes the Australian Surrogacy and Adoption Blog. A renowned international expert and recent dad via domestic surrogacy. Stephen has appeared in the media frequently. In the last five years he has been a regular conference speaker on the legal aspects of surrogacy globally. He is a Fellow, International Academy of Family Lawyers; the International Representative, American Bar Association, Artificial Reproductive Treatment Committee and Founder of the LGBT Family Law Institute Australia.
Sacha has practiced exclusively in the area of Family Law since 2009 and with nearly ten years experience is able to provide strong advice and quality representation in a range of matters including complex property and financial settlements, parenting and children’s matters, de facto separation and surrogacy and fertility law.
Knowing that Family Law matters can be complex, emotional and often highly stressful, Sacha is adept at finding creative and practical solutions to help her clients reach negotiated outcomes through a range of alternative dispute resolution processes, including mediation. However, should it become necessary, Sacha has extensive experience in appearing in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia in both property and parenting matters.
Sacha is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law.
Tamari is an experienced international fertility manager, with a long history working in local and international health care industry, a Medical degree and a Master’s degree in Public Health and Health Policy.
What she enjoys most is the variety of roles and the type of environments she is exposed to. Being involved in the fertility sector allows Tamari to work with different teams on new projects/programs, work in different cultural environments, be exposed to various systems, and manage her time and efforts against very specific deliverables, thus being able to gain insight into managing projects from different angles. Her specific interest is in the inter-dependencies of global and national practices, in how policies are written based on different regional contexts and translated into real medical solution to ensure better health outcomes.
Kate is an Associate Director at Culshaw Miller Lawyers. She completed a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice at Flinders University and was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of South Australia in October 2011. In February 2012 Kate was admitted as a solicitor in the High Court of Australia.
Kate practices solely in the area of family law offering advice on a broad spectrum of Family Law areas. Kate combines her experience of family law and family dynamics with empathy and a pragmatic approach to resolving matters and achieving effective solutions. She provides practical and realistic advice to clients and ensures they are aware of all possible options and outcomes at every stage of their matter.
Whilst Kate’s practice is considerably focussed on property settlements and children’s matters, Kate takes a specific interest in Surrogacy matters and alternate family formations.
Kate has acted for both intended parents and potential surrogates in a number of altruistic surrogacy matters. From those matters, a number of children have been born and Kate takes great pride in having played a part in helping form those families.
Melissa Holman is one of those wonderful women who loves to give. Gold Coast-based, she is the founder of Egg Donation Australia, a forum with 600 active donors. She is a nurse and mother of two. She will discuss how Egg Donation Australia works and the etiquette and tips around locating an altruistic donor in Australia
Stephen & his partner Andrew each have Australian/Uk Citizesnhip. They engaged in surrogacy in Texas, USA with Simple Surrogacy. Their first attempt resulted in a miscarriage at 9 weeks but their second embryo transfer resulted in the birth of boy/girl twins Reilly & Phoenix on 1 Sept 2017. Stephen will share the ups and downs of their journey and his tips for engaging in the US and Texas specifically
Kyle & his husband have completed two surrogacy journeys in British Columbia leading to the birth of two sons. Their first journey was independent and their second journey they were matched by Canadian Fertility Consultants who provided surrogate support. Their first surrogacy journey only required one embryo transfer, their second journey they lost the pregnancy at 10 weeks, tried again a year later and another single embryo took . These guys looking into surrogacy when they were 30, had their first son when they were 32 and have just had their second son three years later. Kyle and his partner live between Canada and Brisbane and will discuss the Canadian model
Marty is the Principal of Kavanagh Lawyers Perth. Marty practices in all areas of Family Law and has a particular interest in surrogacy and adoption matters. In March 2018, Marty was part of a team of lawyers who Assisted GayDads WA, pro bono, with legal submissions to the Western Australia surrogacy Review. Marty also has a professional interest in Restraining orders and for many years he wrote the Thomson Reuters commentary on the Restraining orders Act 1997 (WA). Apart from running a busy practice Marty is also the Honorary Consul of Ireland to Western Australia. Marty is a keen Dockers fan.
Marnie is a gestational surrogate living with her husband and two young children in North-West Sydney. Before engaging IPs, She and her husband sought counselling from a well regarded surrogacy counsellor. In February 2017 she met her Canberra based IPs through the Australian Surrogacy Community Facebook page. She birthed her first surrogate baby in August 2018. She is now a mentor with the Surrogacy Australia Support Service
Rebecca and her husband’s journey began 8 years ago and after 21 IVF cycles and 2 separate failed domestic surrogacy journeys they turned to the Ukraine . They very quickly settled on Lotus Surrogacy and once they sorted finances their journey commended. Within eight weeks they were in Kyiv meeting their surrogate. Their first attempt failed but their second led to pregnancy. Their daughter was born on on 29th November 2018, a day before 40 weeks gestation ans they returned to Australia early 2019.
Leah and husband James have two gorgeous girls, both born via surrogacy through the incredible generosity of two different women.
Leah’s surrogacy journey began in 2013, following a bowel cancer diagnosis coupled with the news that she may never be able to have children. Prior to her treatment, Leah and James were successful in creating embryos. On the 3rd transfer Leah’s cousin fell pregnant and their daughter was born in January 2016. With embryos on ice they commenced exploring options for their sibling journey.
They investigated both local and overseas options attending seminars and conferences and decided that their ideal scenario was finding a local surrogate. They met Julie within the community and embarked on what became a challenging journey and after success on the 6th transfer, they welcomed their 2nd daughter into their world in May 2019.
Leah and James experienced two very different surrogacy journeys and there were times where it felt like the hurdles were insurmountable, but they never gave up hope on achieving their dream of becoming parents. They will be forever grateful for their beautiful family, which would not have been possible without surrogacy.
Luc and his husband, Adam were married in 2016 with an intention to start a family together. They commenced their surrogacy journey at a Families Through Surrogacy conference in May 2017. There they connected with Create Fertility and 2 years later their daughter was born in British Columbia, Canada. ANU Fertility supported in matching them with their Surrogate. They are currently working with their Surrogate on their second surrogacy journey.
Michelle is 41 years old, married to husband Glenn with two kids aged 15 & 12. She offered to be a gestational surrogate for a friend that she knew through work. As gay intended dads, surrogacy was their preferred option to start a family. They had two embryos banked, and when the first failed to thaw, they had just remaining embryo to work with. They were incredibly lucky to be successfully pregnant after that one transfer. After a pretty smooth pregnancy, Michelle gave birth to baby Alice Michelle in March of this year.
Gabby Goldberg and her partner Harris welcomed a daughter via surrogacy in the USA in Dec 2016 using a surrogacy agency in Minnesota and a Fertility clinic in Nevada. After 2 failed attempts (one non-starter and one failed medical exam) to find a donor through donor agencies they enlisted the help of Donor Concierge who found the egg donor they ultimately used.
Amanda is a 31 year old mum to four kids of her own and lives in South-east Melbourne. She used her own eggs in a traditional surrogacy arrangement for a same sex Victorian couple and gave birth in March 2018. She is a mentor with the Surrogacy Australia Support Service
Rodney Chiang-Cruise is one of the co-moderators of the Gay Dads Australia Facebook group and founder of the Gay Dads Australia website. He and his partner Jeff are the father of Ethan, a 12 year old boy via US surrogacy. Rodney & Jeff have also donated sperm and entered co-parent arrangements with a diverse group of Melbourne women. Rodney is a passionate believer in choice for intended parents. He has worked tirelessly in support and education in the Victorian community.
Shaun and his partner Jeremy began their surrogacy journey in 2016, research both local and international options. In 2017 they went through two egg donation cycles with their best friend Steph, and began the surrogacy process in Victoria with their QLD-based surrogate Nicolle and her wife Jane, who they had been introduce to by mutual friends. They were lucky to achieve a pregnancy on the first transfer, and in March 2019 Nicolle gave birth to Shaun and Jeremy’s beautiful son Elio.
Having known from a young age that she could never carry herself, when it came time to start this journey Lauryn & her partner well aware of what was and wasn’t possible. Although they didnt truly imagine they would have a beautiful healthy baby girl Everlie, just 2 years after meeting their Surrogate at an FTS conference. The most precious thing gained (apart from Everlie) was the life long friendship with their Surrogate Sarah and her family. Lauryn will talk about putting time into building strong foundations to carry you through hard times, including miscarriage. Their team’s strength was grounded in humour, honesty, respect and admiration.
Anna is a school teacher and is closely involved in admining the Australian surrogate facebook group. Anna surveyed 150 members of this online surrogate support group. Every past, current & potential altruistic surrogate responded, shedding light on just how domestic surrogacy is evolving. Anna is currently matched with a South Australian couple and works for Surrogacy Australia as their Surrogacy Support Manager
Simone has just one daughter who is nearly 12 years old and a step daughter who is 10. Simone had one false start in trying to meet IPs and because of that experience decided to look locally. So, her IPs, Mel and Dave, are in Adelaide. Coincidentally they joined the SA group around the same time in April 2017 and began chatting end of June 2017. They attended a local catch up dinner in July 2017 and met in person – it was like meeting people she had known a while. Mel and Simone decided to have lunch. Very soon after that, Simone officially offered. Simone, Mel and their partners make an effort to catch up every couple of weeks and are looking forward to the future
John Thompson and his wife started IVF back in 2011 and three years or attempts led to a daughter Maisie in 2014. They tried and failed with IVF in 2015 and 2016 including one failed natural pregnancy, before trying IVF unsuccessfully with donor eggs in Greece. They were on the brink of giving up until by chance they came across a Families Through Surrogacy seminar. After the seminar, John and his wife decided to pursue surrogacy in the Ukraine and travelled to Kiev in December 2017 to plan arrangements. In January 2019 they welcomed Sadie, the sister they thought Maisie would never have
Alex has congenital reproductive abnormalities and adenomyosis. After four years of IVF and two miscarriages of healthy foetuses, she and her husband agreed with their doctor that a live birth was very unlikely. Open about their IVF journey, they went all-in in the search for a surrogate. A friend pulled Alex aside at work and said his wife was seriously considering carrying for them and that we should come to dinner immediately to discuss it. Their beautiful surrogate gave birth to Arthur, 15 months later on the 30th of May. Alex will discuss the process of domestic surrogacy, including IVF, legals, counselling and support.
Hannah was born with MRKH, a condition which meant she had no womb to carry a child. Neither this, nor being single deterred her from her dream of parenthood. Hannah’s Adelaide cousin offered to carry but SA didnt allow single women to access surrogacy. So began a cross-border journey that ultimately led to the birth of daughter Imara in late June 2019. Hannah will share what she learned along the way and how to cope with the ups and downs.
Simon & his gay partner engaged in surrogacy with New Life Mexico which led to a successful birth in 2017. The Mexican state where they engaged has no laws regarding surrogacy. Their exit required three months in which to attain Australian citizenship, passports and other exit documents before they could come home. Simon will provide advice to those considering Mexico
After experiencing two wonderful pregnancies and labours, Michelle began to explore the idea of surrogacy. Not knowing anyone personally in need of a surrogate, she connected with her IPs at a Families Through Surrogacy seminar in Perth. They hit it off straight away and spent the next year ticking off all counseling, psychology assessments, legalities and RTC approval boxes. In April 2018 they started the IVF process and after two egg retrieval’s and three embryo transfers, Jack was born in March 2019. Michelle will talk about what went to plan and what didnt, dealing with complications, expressing breastmilk and the friendship developed on this extra-ordinary journey
Rachel & her husband Mark underwent many years of failed IVF before Rachel was diagnosed wit endometriosis and immune system issues which were making pregnancy impossible. After one final egg retrieval and embryo creation, their WA doctor gave up, but they refused to. They insisted on taking their embryos ‘for further treatment,’ shipping them to Tbilisi, Georgia. At this time Mark was 48, Rachel 44. When Jayden was born in October 2017, from a batch of embryos their own doctor had written off, it was testament to the determination and hope that binds this family together. Mark will discuss their experience of Georgian surrogacy
Kate found out at 16 that she had MRKH – at the time surrogacy was illegal in WA. Years later , with surrogacy now legal in WA, Kate and her husband started looking to surrogacy. They attended an FTS seminar in 2015 – and didnt look back, attending every one available in PErth. While attending an FTS seminar in late 2016 they met Michelle. After months of chatting, Michelle offered to carry. Kate will discuss the paperwork, egg retrievals, embryo transfers, as well as the nerve-racking birth of Jack. Their surrogate Michelle will share her own side of this extra-ordinary story.
Just over eighteen months ago, Nathan (35) and Ben (42) became proud fathers of a son Oscar, born in Connecticut, USA. This was after a three-year journey which began in Mexico with lots of research, planning, and several failed attempts and ended in a switch to a successful US surrogacy journey.
Marian is a parent from Adelaide. Shortly after becoming married, Marian was diagnosed with complicated auto-immune diseases which would put her and her baby’s health at serious risk should she attempt a pregnancy. It became their quest to find a surrogate through the online community. They were successful in engaging with their (now) close friend and surrogate – Brisbane based Rachel Kunde. While they experienced tragedy when Baby Hugo was born with a rare, fatal neurological condition, they refused to give up. David and Marian welcomed MAtilda in June 2018 again with the help of Rachel. Marian is now a SASS mentor.
Felicity’s autoimmune condition was always destined to make pregnancy difficult for her. She and her husband had 9 IVF transfers, 4 miscarriages and the stillbirth of their daughter in Australia before investigating surrogacy. Her son Jackson was born in Oklahoma in June 2017 after their first transfer in the US. She is currently engaged on a second independent US surrogacy. Flick is also treasurer of Surrogacy Australia
Sarah met her intended mum Lauryn on the ASC Facebook page back in April 2017 and in person (along with her husband David) at Melbourne Surrogacy Conference in June 2017. They spent the next 5 or so months getting to know one another more, meeting Sarah’s two daughters who adored them straight away. Although in different states (Melbourne and Canberra), Sarah offered to carry in September 2017, and 18 months later they welcomed a baby girl into the world.
Lee is 37 years old and she and her husband have 3 children, all girls, Ava is 11 y/o, Isis is 9 y/o and Arwen is 7 y/o. Lee carried for her single cousin Hannah . They completed one failed transfer in Sydney, but their second transfer was successful and Lee birthed Imara on 18 June 2019.
Matt is on his way to be a dad through Australian surrogacy and egg donation, working with a local Adelaide surrogate. Matt and his partner have a donor, their friend Jen who has just completed her second egg ‘pick up’ which are fertilised and growing into embryos. Matt & his partner met their surrogate online via the ASC facebook group/forum. They are aiming for their first transfer in January after a quarantine period. Matt will talk about the process to date, including ethics approval, costs and paperwork.
Ben and his partner Terry live in Brisbane, Queensland and have been together 7 years. Their daughter Ivy was born on 3 January 2018 in Geelong, Victoria via an altruistic surrogate after 3 years of planning. Ben and Terry looked at many different options, including commercial surrogacy, before deciding to pursue altruistic surrogacy in Australia. While the process wasn’t without its hiccups, it was all worth it the moment they finally got to meet their daughter and see their dream of a family become a reality. Ben is a mentor with Surrogacy Australia Support Service
Kathryn and her partner are an Australian couple who have much planning and research engaged successfully in surrogacy in Georgia with ReproArt. They commenced in late 2017, doing the IVF in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi and their son was born in August 2018. They will talk about their experiences.
Tamzin is a 20 year old who works at Grill’d and lives in Blackburn North. Her Mum and Dad required an egg donor after her Mum was incorrectly diagnosed with early menopause. They used a known donor. Tamzin was conceived on the 2nd attempt and her younger brother was conceived on the 5th attempt. Tamzin has known of her creation story since she was 2 years old.
Geelong couple Philip and his defacto partner Doris first came to us for advice in November 2017. At 56 years of age, both were too old to be considered for Australian or Greek surrogacy and they did not have the budget for the US. They had engaged unsuccessfully in Indian a few years earlier. Their profile meant that egg-donor surrogacy in Georgia was a viable option.
Philip will share their journey which led to the birth of twins earlier this year.