Changes in the Landscape

Written by: Sam Everingham

The global landscape is always changing. Below are some recent developments you should be aware of.

*          In Australia and New Zealand, there are important changes to RTAC guidelines around embryo shipping. We are holding a session on this at the Conference. 

*          On 12 May, the Northern Territory became Australia’s last jurisdiction to pass surrogacy laws that allow it’s residents to engage in domestic surrogacy and be legally recognised as parents.

*          Given the war and consequent instability in Ukraine, we strongly discourage IPs from engaging in new arrangements there.

*          In Georgia, new paperwork requirements have recently been introduced for  shipped embryos.

*          In Spain, the government is close to passing new laws which criminalise international surrogacy arrangements.

*          In the USA, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on surrogate availability. As a result, there are huge differences in wait times for surrogates depending on the agency you engage with.

The US Supreme Court’s likely decision to allow states to introduce abortion laws is likely to see at least 13 US states ban abortion. The roll-on effect to US surrogacy is as yet unknown.

*          In Argentina, a new altruistic surrogacy program has opened which promised to reduce the pressure on over-subscribed programs in Colombia.

*          In Greece, the maximum cut off age for heterosexual women requiring surrogacy has increased from 50 to 52 years.

 Education and Support

This year’s National Conference on 18-19 June brings together over 40 Experts sharing their knowledge. This includes Surrogacy Australia, Egg Donation Australia, IVF Australia, Far and Wide Family Migration,  Sarah Bevan Family Law and Stephen Page Family and Fertility Law to name a few. 

They will be joined by experts and surrogates from the US, Canada, Greece, Georgia and Argentina including California Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Canadian Fertility Consulting, Western Fertility,  Surro Connections USA,  Mediterranean Fertility Institute, Repro Art Georgia and Global Surrogacy Consulting Argentina.

Parent Panels will feature those who have completed their family in Australia and overseas, sharing about their experiences in Australia, Greece, USA, Canada  & Georgia. Surrogates, egg donors and their families will talk.

For the first time, we will host a panel of pre-teens born via local or international surrogacy to discuss how they feel about how they were created; how and when they knew their story; what they think of how this was managed; having two dads; telling friends and teachers; and relationships with their donor or surrogate

It’s an annual event not to be missed. 

Tickets include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea on both days.  There will be networking drinks on the Saturday night to mingle with parents, surrogates, donors and experts.

Book your ticket now.

Surrogacy Stats

For the most recent year data is available (2019 transfers) surrogates from Australia and New Zealand undertook a total of 215 embryo transfers, of which 32% resulted in a live birth. That’s 73 babies born via gestational surrogacy from transfers that year! Around 2.5 times this number of babies are born to Australians and New Zealanders using overseas arrangements. This will be discussed in more detail at the National Conference in June.  <

How Have Growing Families Been Assisting Over the Past Year?

*          Over 107 intended parents had a 15 min complimentary call.

*          Over 132 intended parents booked a customised consultation.

*          More than 150 needed our help with shipping embryos and gametes for international programs.

*          98 couples from 19 countries with pregnancies and newborns in Ukraine reached out for our support with emergency transport, paperwork, infant & parent support and hospital liaison in Ukraine and Poland.

*          We further strengthened our engagement with DFAT to better support Australian couples.

*          We assisted IPs with citizenship and passport processes for births in Georgia, Cyprus, Canada, the US, Ukraine, Greece and other countries.

Research & Education

Growing Families Director Sam Everingham has been invited to speak at:

*          The European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology annual conference in Milan in July 2022 on Refugee Embryos: Abandon or Rescue? What policies should nations with third party reproduction programs consider to repatriate the gametes of foreign couples.

*          The Fertility Society of Australia annual conference in September 2022 on Global Trends in Surrogacy Uptake by Destination and Nationality 2018-2020.

This article was written by:

Sam Everingham

Sam Everingham is the founder of Growing Families. He has extensive global networks with surrogacy researchers, families, agencies, and reproductive specialists, and has been helping couples and singles with their family building journey for over a decade. He is a regular media commentator and has co-authored articles on surrogacy in several reputable journals.

Read more about Sam Everingham