• Fertility Experts from around the world

     
  • Growing Families is a non-profit organisation

     
  • Run by parents for intended parents

     
  • Our events promote best-practice

     

Unbiased Advice and Insight from Parents & Professionals

Parent-led education seminar on all aspects of surrogacy and egg donation journeys, including costs, pitfalls, embryo shipping, legal issues, parentage, accessing superannuation and specialist advice on Australian, US, Georgia and other options.

  • Brisbane 2.30 -6.00pm Sun 20 October, Mantra Southbank, 161 Grey St
  • Perth 6.00-9.30pm Tue 22 October, Metro Hotel, 61 Canning Highway, South Perth
  • Adelaide 6.00-9.30pm Wed 23 October, Rydges, 1 South Terrace
  • Melbourne 6.00-9.30pm Thu 24 October, Mantra Southbank, 31 City Rd
  • Canberra 2.30-6.00pm Sat 26 October Statesman Hotel, Theodore Street, Curtin
  • Sydney 2.30-6.00pm Sun 27 October, Norths Leagues Club, 12 Abbott St, Cammeray

Please note that the relevant state law prohibits Growing Families from arranging any surrogacy program

Icon Brisbane Sunday 20 October 2019
Program
Timing Description
Icon Perth Tuesday 22 October 2019
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Timing Description

Step-Parent Adoption in Western Australia

An expert family lawyer explains the practicalities of WA law as it applies to surrogacy and summarises the step-parent adoption process for those parents interested in formal recognition of their parental status under WA law.

Marty Kavanagh, Kavanagh Lawyers

Parent Panel

Australian parents who have utilised surrogacy at home or overseas (both gay and heterosexual) discuss their experiences, the ups and downs, how they coped and what they’d recommend for other intended parents

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Rachel Lovich (mum via Georgia), Kate Ranger (mum via Australia), Simon Romeo (gay dad via Mexico) Ben Calleja (gay dad via US)

Surrogates Own Experiences

Michelle Griffin connected with her IPs at one of our past Perth seminars in Perth. They hit it off straight away and spent the next year ticking off all counselling, psychology assessments, legalities and RTC approval boxes. Michelle birthed Jack earlier this year. She will talk about what went to plan and what didnt, dealing with complications, expressing breast milk and the friendships that can develop on this extra-ordinary journey

Michelle Griffin

Icon Adelaide Wednesday 23 october 2019
Program
Timing Description

Surrogacy & Egg Donation – Don’t Get Trapped

As demand for surrogacy grows, some agencies and countries are struggling to cope with the increase in requests for surrogates and donors. Too often intended parents are paying large up-front fees to OS providers who fail to match them with a surrogate, or paying tens of thousands for shipped eggs which fail to result in a pregnancy. This session looks at the differences between altruistic and compensated programs; egg donor considerations; likely program costs and how can they be controlled; Success rates and choosing reliable providers.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Surrogacy & Egg Donors – Texas Style

Countries like the Australia and Canada struggle to recruit and support surrogates, whereas some US states do this well based on better laws, compensation, screening and experience. Texas has not come under the same pressure as California to increase surrogate compensation so surrogacy arrangements can be significantly more affordable. For the first time we put a spotlight on Texas as a rising star in North American surrogacy.

Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy, Texas

IVF & Embryology Techniques to maximise your Success

This session by esteemed Texas IVF professional Rob Kaufman covers what medical tests you should prepare prior to surrogacy, embryo shipping considerations, semen analysis, the pros and cons of PGD testing of embryos and decisions around single vs double embryo transfer.

Dr Rob Kaufmann, Fort Worth Fertility, Texas

Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Georgia – A Well Kept Secret

Where the hell is Georgia? Just west of Turkey. One of only six countries with laws allowing foreigners to be recognised as legal parents, Georgia has had such laws for over two decades. Openness is key – like Australia, egg donors cannot be anonymous. Yet a lack of awareness meant few Australians engaged there – until recently. With far easier paperwork requirements than Ukraine, no visa requirements, advanced IVF technologies and low costs, it’s not hard to understand the attraction.

Tamari Kachlishvili, ReproArt, Georgia

Accessing Your Superannuation for Surrogacy

Australian superannuation funds will currently allow funds to be accessed for IVF & surrogacy purposes – whether in Australia or offshore. However its important to understand what can and cant be claimed and how to submit the paperwork to ensure it meets the guidelines. This practical presentation makes seemingly complex paperwork far easier.

Sam Everingham

Legal Issues for Australians Accessing Surrogacy

An expert local family lawyer uses case studies to illustrate the usual timelines and steps involved in drawing up surrogacy agreements, looks at whether donor agreements are necessary and illustrates the pathways to ensure you and your surrogate are protected legally post birth.

Kate Bishop, Culshaw Miller lawyers

NETWORKING WITH PARENTS, SURROGATES & EXPERTS

Food & Drinks provided

Parent Panel

Australian parents who have utilised surrogacy at home or overseas (both gay and heterosexual) discuss their experiences, the ups and downs, how they coped and what they’d recommend for other intended parents

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Alex Whelan (mum via domestic) John Thompson (dad via Ukraine) Hannah Smith (single mum via domestic) Matt Davies (gay intended dad via domestic)

Surrogates Own Experiences

Local surrogates share their motivations for carrying, their experiences, the ups and the downs to help set the expectations of  intended parents (and fertility counsellors) as to what they need to focus on before moving forward and what support surrogates require during these intense journeys

Moderator: Anna McKie

Panelists: Simone Cureton & Lee Bagshaw, Adelaide surrogates

Icon Melbourne Thursday 24 October 2019
Program
Timing Description

Surrogacy & Egg Donation – Don’t Get Trapped

As demand for surrogacy grows, some agencies and countries are struggling to cope with the increase in requests for surrogates and donors. Too often intended parents are paying large up-front fees to OS providers who fail to match them with a surrogate, or paying tens of thousands for shipped eggs which fail to result in a pregnancy. This session looks at the differences between altruistic and compensated programs; egg donor considerations; likely program costs and how can they be controlled; Success rates and choosing reliable providers.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Surrogacy & Egg Donors – Texas Style

Countries like the Australia and Canada struggle to recruit and support surrogates, whereas some US states do this well based on better laws, compensation, screening and experience. Texas has not come under the same pressure as California to increase surrogate compensation so surrogacy arrangements can be significantly more affordable. For the first time we put a spotlight on Texas as a rising star in North American surrogacy.

Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy, Texas

IVF & Embryology Techniques to maximise your Success

This session by esteemed Texas IVF professional Rob Kaufman covers what medical tests you should prepare prior to surrogacy, embryo shipping considerations, semen analysis, the pros and cons of PGD testing of embryos and decisions around single vs double embryo transfer.

Dr Rob Kaufmann, Fort Worth Fertility, Texas

Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Georgia – A Well Kept Secret

Where the hell is Georgia? Just west of Turkey. One of only six countries with laws allowing foreigners to be recognised as legal parents, Georgia has had such laws for over two decades. Openness is key – like Australia, egg donors cannot be anonymous. Yet a lack of awareness meant few Australians engaged there – until recently. With far easier paperwork requirements than Ukraine, no visa requirements, advanced IVF technologies and low costs, it’s not hard to understand the attraction.

Tamari Kachlishvili, ReproArt, Georgia

Legal Issues for Australians Accessing Surrogacy

An expert fertility lawyer uses case studies to illustrate the usual timelines and steps involved in drawing up surrogacy agreements, looks at whether donor agreements are necessary and illustrates the pathways to ensure you and your surrogate are protected legally post birth for domestic and overseas surrogacy.

Ben Sayer, Sayer Jones, Victoria

Surrogacy in Australia – SASS style

For those keen to engage in altruistic domestic surrogacy, Surrogacy Australia’s new Support Service (SASS) has been enrolling surrogates and intended parents since January this year. Teams have already formed. The charity introduces pre-screened IPs to pre-screened surrogates as well as providing mentor sessions, expert referrals, expenses management and counselling support to already formed and new teams. A SASS mentor provides their own experience of helping others on similar journeys

Amanda Meehan, SASS mentor

Hearing from Donor conceived Young adults

Before embarking on this journey, its key that you understand the perspective of donor and/or surrogacy kids. How will having two dads, or having a different conception story, even a surrogate in another country, affect children’s sense of self

Tamzin McLean et al

NETWORKING WITH PARENTS, SURROGATES & EXPERTS

Food & Drinks provided

Parent Panel

Australian parents who have utilised surrogacy and egg donation at home or overseas (both gay and heterosexual) discuss their experiences, the ups and downs, how they coped and what they’d recommend for other intended parents

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Shaun Larkin (Gay dad via domestic) Lauryn Jordan (mum via domestic) Gabby Goldberg (mum via US) Philip Britton (dad via Georgia)

Co-parenting – It Takes a Village to Raise a Family

Rodney’s son Ethan was born via US surrogacy, and Rodney has been a leader in the Gay Dads community here in Australia. But Rodney and his partner have also donated sperm to a number of lesbian couples and entered successful co-parent arrangements with some. Here he talks about the vital aspects to tackle if such arrangements are to work

Rodney Chiang-Cruise, Dad via surrogacy & co-parenting

Icon Canberra Saturday 26 October 2019
Program
Timing Description

Surrogacy & Egg Donation – Understand the Risks 

As demand for surrogacy grows, some agencies and countries are struggling to cope with the increase in requests for surrogates and donors. Too often intended parents are paying large up-front fees to providers who fail to match them, or paying tens of thousands for shipped eggs which fail to result in a pregnancy. This session looks at the differences between altruistic and compensated programs; egg donor considerations; likely program costs and how can they be controlled; Success rates and choosing reliable providers.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Surrogacy & Egg Donors – Texas Style

Countries like the Australia and Canada struggle to recruit and support surrogates, whereas some US states do this well based on better laws, compensation, screening and experience. Texas has not come under the same pressure as California to increase surrogate compensation so surrogacy arrangements can be significantly more affordable. For the first time we put a spotlight on Texas as a rising star in North American surrogacy.

Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy, Texas

IVF & Embryology Techniques to maximise your Success

This session by esteemed Texas IVF professional Rob Kaufman covers what medical tests you should prepare prior to surrogacy, embryo shipping considerations, semen analysis, the pros and cons of PGD testing of embryos and decisions around single vs double embryo transfer.

Dr Rob Kaufmann, Fort Worth Fertility, Texas

Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Georgia – A Well Kept Secret

Where the hell is Georgia? Just west of Turkey. One of only six countries with laws allowing foreigners to be recognised as legal parents, Georgia has had such laws for over two decades. Openness is key – like Australia, egg donors cannot be anonymous. Yet a lack of awareness meant few Australians engaged there – until recently. With far easier paperwork requirements than Ukraine, no visa requirements, advanced IVF technologies and low costs, it’s not hard to understand the attraction.

Tamari Kachlishvili, ReproArt, Georgia

Egg Donor considerations

When you should be considering a donor, different donor options (friends, clinics, fly-in donors, shipped eggs, overseas), the pros and cons of each and considerations in regard to donor age etc

Professor Steve Robson, ANU Medical School

NETWORKING WITH PARENTS & EXPERTS

Accessing Your Superannuation for Surrogacy or Egg Donation

Australian superannuation funds will currently allow funds to be accessed for IVF & surrogacy purposes – whether in Australia or offshore. However its important to understand what can and cant be claimed and how to submit the paperwork to ensure it meets the guidelines. This practical presentation makes seemingly complex paperwork far easier.

Sam Everingham

Parent Panel

Australian parents who have utilised surrogacy overseas (both gay and heterosexual) discuss their experiences, the ups and downs, how they coped and what they’d recommend for other intended parents

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Felicity Kennedy, Stephen Glover

What Australian Surrogates Expect from You

Educates future intended parents and fertility counsellors as to what they need to focus on before moving forward and what support surrogates require during these intense journeys

Sarah Bagnall (Canberra surrogate)

Icon Sydney Sunday 27 October 2019
Program
Timing Description

Surrogacy & Egg Donation – Understand the Risks 

As demand for surrogacy grows, some agencies and countries are struggling to cope with the increase in requests for surrogates and donors. Too often intended parents are paying large up-front fees to providers who fail to match them, or paying tens of thousands for shipped eggs which fail to result in a pregnancy. This session looks at the differences between altruistic and compensated programs; egg donor considerations; likely program costs and how can they be controlled; Success rates and choosing reliable providers.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Surrogacy & Egg Donors – Texas Style

Countries like the Australia and Canada struggle to recruit and support surrogates, whereas some US states do this well based on better laws, compensation, screening and experience. Texas has not come under the same pressure as California to increase surrogate compensation so surrogacy arrangements can be significantly more affordable. For the first time we put a spotlight on Texas as a rising star in North American surrogacy.

Kristin Hanson, Simple Surrogacy, Texas

IVF & Embryology Techniques to maximise your Success

This session by esteemed Texas IVF professional Rob Kaufman covers what medical tests you should prepare prior to surrogacy, embryo shipping considerations, semen analysis, the pros and cons of PGD testing of embryos and decisions around single vs double embryo transfer.

Dr Rob Kaufmann, Fort Worth Fertility, Texas

Surrogacy & Egg Donation in Georgia – A Well Kept Secret

Where the hell is Georgia? Just west of Turkey. One of only six countries with laws allowing foreigners to be recognised as legal parents, Georgia has had such laws for over two decades. Openness is key – like Australia, egg donors cannot be anonymous. Yet a lack of awareness meant few Australians engaged there – until recently. With far easier paperwork requirements than Ukraine, no visa requirements, advanced IVF technologies and low costs, it’s not hard to understand the attraction.

Tamari Kachlishvili, ReproArt, Georgia

Legal Issues for Australians Accessing Surrogacy

An experienced surrogacy lawyer uses case studies to illustrate the usual timelines and steps involved in drawing up surrogacy agreements, looks at whether donor agreements are necessary and illustrates the pathways to ensure you are protected legally post birth for domestic and overseas surrogacy.

Sacha Mastras, Merridy Elphick Lawyers, NSW

 

Surrogates Own Experiences

A local surrogate with a very recent journey shares her motivations for carrying, her experiences, and the ups and the downs to help set the expectations of  intended parents (and fertility counsellors) as to what they need to focus on before moving forward and what support surrogates require during these intense journeys

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Michelle Fenwick, NSW surrogate

NETWORKING WITH PARENTS & EXPERTS

Accessing Your Superannuation for Surrogacy or Egg Donation

Australian superannuation funds will currently allow funds to be accessed for IVF & surrogacy purposes – whether in Australia or offshore. However its important to understand what can and cant be claimed and how to submit the paperwork to ensure it meets the guidelines. This practical presentation makes seemingly complex paperwork far easier.

Rebecca Newson

Professional supported surrogacy in Australia

For those keen to engage in altruistic domestic surrogacy, Surrogacy Australia’s new Support Service (SASS) has been enrolling surrogates and intended parents since January this year. Teams have already formed. The charity introduces pre-screened IPs to pre-screened surrogates as well as providing mentor sessions, expert referrals, expenses management and counselling support to already formed and new teams.

Anna McKie, Surrogacy Australia

Parent Panel

Australian parents who have utilised surrogacy at home or overseas (both gay and heterosexual) discuss their experiences, the ups and downs, how they coped and what they’d recommend for other intended parents

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Stephen Glover (dad via US), Rebecca Newson (mum via Ukraine) Leah Ellis (mum via Australia) Luc Marshall-Weinberg (dad via Canada)