Egg Donor / Surrogacy National Conference - Growing Families

It Takes A Village!

Surrogacy & Egg Donor

Date: 17 – 18 June 2023

Purchase Tickets



Welcome to Growing Families

It Takes a Village! is the only event of its kind in Australia.
You will receive reliable advice, support and guidance from Australian and world-leading experts to grow your family – all under one roof.

Visit us in Melbourne!

Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June
9.00am to 5.30pm

Amora Hotel Riverwalk Richmond, Melbourne

The journey to having a child is not always easy, but the desire is real!

For many, the path to parenthood is not straightforward. There are many hurtles, heartaches, lots of information and many people involved along the way. Every path to parenthood is unique and the journey ‘Takes a Village’ to bring your little bundle of joy home.

Who Should Attend:

Women Struggling with infertility:

  • Struggling with infertility due to a medical condition.
  • Struggling with infertility due to your age.
  • Struggling with infertility due to unexplained issues.
  • Starting your family without a male partner involved.

men having babies:

  • A single Dad building your family
  • Two Dad’s building a family together.
Surrogacy in Europe

It Takes a Village!

Introduces you to Australian and International Fertility Experts, to start answering those questions you have on egg donation and surrogacy in Australia and internationally. The event provides you with accurate knowledge, guidance and a path to start your family building journey.

Do you want to start or expand your family? 

‘It Takes a Village’ covers topics such as:

Artificial insemination, surrogacy, egg donation, pregnancy for women after 40, pregnancy after medical conditions, fertility coaching, egg donors in Australia, surrogacy in Australia, international surrogacy, international egg donors, alternative treatment options, options for the LGBTQ+ community, transporting eggs & embryos, parentage legalities in Australia, internationally and much more!

Talk with Experts Face-to-Face about Your Unique Situation!

We invite you to join us over a weekend in Melbourne for informative seminars by Australian and international fertility experts.

Interactive ‘Ask Me Anything’ panels, that includes recent parents who have been on their alternate family building journey, children and young adults via surrogacy or egg donor. Surrogates and egg donors themselves.

There will be networking opportunities and plenty of time to talk one on one with experts at their information stands to find out the different ways to fulfill your family building dream!

It Takes A Village, Melbourne!

Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June 2023
Sat: 9.00am – 5.30pm

Sun: 9.00- 4.30pm
Amora Riverwalk
Hotel Richmond, Melbourne

It Takes A Village!

The weekend event runs over two days with a different focus each day, Saturday egg donor options and domestic surrogacy, Sunday international altruistic and compensated surrogacy.

Our interactive format provides advice, introductions and answers to questions, no matter where you are in your journey.  We cover steps on how to first engagement with professional service providers to taking your baby home. 

Ticket Includes:

Fully catered: morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.  Along with a networking drinks & nibbles function Saturday evening.

One-on-One consultations with as many experts from the conference as you like. View the profiles of each speaker   and email us to arrange your consultation meetings.

If you are an intended parent via egg donation and/or surrogacy, we recommend booking the two-day pass to maximise your understanding of options and take advantage of all social activities.

If you are a surrogate, egg donor or looking at becoming one, then book only for the Saturday. Tickets for surrogates and donors are free, but you MUST register.

Purchase A Ticket

Conference Ticket:

$110 to $200 per person

Part Day Ticket:

$30 per person

Industry Person – Counsellor / Academic / Nurse / Doctor

$175 per person

Agenda & Speakers 2023

Click to Download full program

Donor & Domestic Day – Saturday 17 June

9.00- 9.25am Registration & Welcome


Local Egg Donor Options

Donor availability; How clinics screen donors; Carrier screening; Donor
family limits; Donor characteristics, ethnicities and matching

Sam Everingham, Growing Families, Australia.


International Donor Options

Options for eggs from overseas egg banks & traveling overseas for a donor. Availability of identity release donors.

Dr Uliana Dorofeyeva, Ovogene, Slovakia.


Good Ingredients – Making Strong Embryos

Medical considerations & screening for egg and sperm providers.

Prof. Peter Illingworth, IVF Australia


Egg Donor – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Australian egg donors discuss their motivations, relationships with recipients, counselling,
experience with medications and more.

Moderator: Mel Sharman
Panelists: Teagan Couper, Jessica Kelchie, Amy White.


Uterine Transplant – What Does the
Future Hold?

Discussing the procedure, risks and potential
complications. How likely a live birth is after such a
surgery and what the patient experience is like.

Prof. Peter Illingworth, IVF Australia.
Dr. Rebecca Deans, Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney. Prue Craven, Uterus Recipient


The Altruistic Headspace 

Provides a step-by-step guide to Australia’s
friendship-based surrogacy model.

Anna McKie, Surrogacy Australia.



Morning Tea & Networking


Eggs to Embryos – Predicting Success

Discusses embryo development, blastocysts, grading, Pre-Genetic-Aneuploidy Testing and
how embryos are selected for transfer

Jayne Mullen, City Fertility, Australia.


Australian Surrogacy Agreements

Covering what should be included in these agreements, their purpose, do they differ by state?

Stephen Page, Page Provan, Australia;


Who’d be a surrogate?

In Australia some women have done over a dozen transfers. Here from surrogates to understand what motivates them to do this selfless act of kindness.

Moderator: Rita Alesi. Panelists:
Beth Williams, VIC, Carmen Gatt, VIC, Anna McKie, SA, Mel Sharman, QLD.



Networking Opportunity


Paret – Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Parents discuss their journeys via Donor IVF or domestic surrogacy.

Moderator: Anna McKie, Surrogacy Australia.
Panelists: Adam Zuchetti, Samantha Reynolds, Francine Marques, Charlotte Coombes.


Legal Parentage After Domestic Arrangements

Covers rights of parents, process, timelines and costs involved.

Sarah Bevan, Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, Australia.


Looking After Your Surrogate, Your Donor & Yourself

Understanding the importance of everyone’s mental health involved in an intended parents journey.

Rita Alesi, Infertility Psychologist, Melbourne.


Afternoon Tea & Networking


The Impact on Families

Children of surrogates discuss the impact on their lives of surrogacy, relationships with half siblings and Surro-siblings.

Moderator: Mariella Rossi. Panelists: Nova, Millicent, Phoenix Miller and Emily Bridges


The Reality – Outcomes for Kids ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Young adults born via domestic egg donor or surrogacy discuss their lives, and their sense
of self.

Moderator: Rita Alesi
Panelists: Chad & Todd Robinson, Tamzin Mclean

5.10 – 6.00pm


Enjoy drinks and nibbles while mingling with service providers, speakers and other intended parents on a similar journey to you.

International Day – Sunday 18 June

9.00am Welcome


Considerations in Selecting a Country

Providing an over of countries that are suitable for different situations. Surrogate match times, costs, legal protection and hybrid programs.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families, Australia.


Considerations for Selecting a Surrogacy Agency & IVF Clinic

Covering program costs, variability, past parents, staffing, support.

Megan Hall-Greenberg, Surro-Connections, USA


Medical Screening of International Donors & Surrogates

The importance of medical screening, best practice, typical issues and ‘mock’ cycles.

Dr. Vuk Jovanovic, Tree of Life Center, USA; Dr. Ashim Kumar, Western Fertility, USA.


Humour as a Survival Tool ‘One Womb Please’

Sarah Maree Cameron, comedian, cancer, endometriosis survivor and now surrogacy candidate, adds some light relief.

Sarah Maree Cameron, Comedian & Intended Parent


Morning Tea & Networking


IVF Experts – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Audience & moderater get to ask about all aspects of IIVF

Moderator: Sam Everingham
Panelsts: Dr. Vuk Jovanovic, Tree of Life Center, USA; Dr. Ashim Kumar, Western Fertility, USA; Dr Uliana Dorofeyeva, Ovogene, Slovakia; Clifford Librach, Canada.


Surrogacy Experts – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Asks the difficult questions of agencies

Moderator: Naomi Seddon
Panelists: Monica Buehler Accel Conceptions, USA; Leia Swanberg, Egg Helpers, Canada;  Steven Swanepoel, Tammuz Family, Australia;  Shawna Johnson,
Gifted Journeys, USA;  Tamari Kachlishvili, Global Surrogacy Consulting, Argentina


Parental Rights for Australians after Overseas Surrogacy

Overview of the countries that present a challenge and the issues intended parents need to address.

Stephen Page, Page Provan, Australia


International Legal Experts – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Surrogacy lawyers discussing the legal issues associated with surrogacy and egg donation in the
US, Canada and Argentina. Contracts & Agreements; birth certificates; legal parentage; when
and how parental transfer occurs, timelines.

Moderator: Sarah Bevan, Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, Australia. Panelists: Dean Masserman, Vorzimer/Masserman, USA; Alex McNab, Moe Hannah, Canada; Ester Nunez, SudAmerica Surrogacy, Argentina


International Parents – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Recent parents who engaged abroad discuss their journeys and a myriad of audience questions.

Moderator: Sam Everingham, Growing Families; Panelists: Andrew Boyd, Dad via US;; Karen Robey, Mum via Georgia. Kiril Seibert Dad via Canada. Daniel Ye, Dad via US hybrid); Melissa Rogers (mum via US)




Breakout 1 
Surrogacy in USA 

Monica Buehler Accel Conceptions,; Megan Hall-Greenberg, Surro Connections,; Heather Morgan, Surro Connections, Shawna Johnson, Gifted Journeys.


Breakout 2 
Surrogacy in Canada 

Alex McNab, Moe Hannah, Canada. Kiril Seibert, parent; Scott Swanberg, CFC, Samantha Esteves, Create


Breakout 3 
Surrogacy in Georgia 

Nana Nadiradze, ReproArt, Georgia; Lela Rowland, ReproArt, Georgia.


Breakout 4 
Surrogacy in USA 

Monica Buehler Accel Conceptions,; Megan Hall-Greenberg, Surro Connections,; Heather Morgan, Surro Connections, Shawna Johnson, Gifted Journeys.


Breakout 5 
Surrogacy in Argentina

EsterNunez,  SudAmerica Surrogacy, Argentina; Tamari Kachlishvili, Global Surrogacy Consulting, Argentina.


Breakout 6
Surrogacy in Mexico / Colombia

Steven Swanepoel, Tammuz Family, Australia.


Hostage Embryos & the Nanny State

The session deals with the complexities around the changes to the rules around embryo and sperm export.

Heather Anderson, Growing Families , Australia; Rodney Oldham, PakAir, Australia.


Insurance for your Surrogate & Newborn

Hanneke Naus, SurroPlans; Australia. Jason Smith, International Fertility Insurance, Australia.


Travel, Citizenship & Passport

Processes for returning infants to their home country.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families, Australia. Craig Fyfe, Emma Solly


The Reality – Outcome for Kids – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Panel

Teenagers & young adults born via International surrogacy discuss their lives, disclosure and their sense of self.

Moderator; Mariela Rossi; Panelists: Remy C-C; Ethan Chiang Cruise, Morgan Rennie, Gaia Elwell.

Meet Our Expert Speakers

Alex McNab
Surrogacy Lawyer, Moe Hannah, Canada
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Anna McKie
Surrogate & Support Manager, Surrogacy Australia
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Christian Bair
Dad via US Surrogate
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Craig Fyfe
Travel Agent, Your Travel Expert
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Dean Masserman
Vorzimer Masserman - Fertility & Family Law Centre, USA
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Dr Andrea Quinteiro Retamar
Reproductive Specialist, CEGYR, Argentina
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Dr Ashim Kumar
Medical Director, Western Fertility, USA
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Dr Peter Illingworth
Reproductive Endocrinologist, IVF Australia
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Dr Rebecca Deans
Lead Researcher, Uterine Transplant Project RHW
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Dr. Uliana Dorofeyeva
Director, Clinical Operations, Ovogene, Slovakia
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Dr. Vuk Jovanovic
Medical Director, Tree of Life Center, USA
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Emma Solly
Administration Manager | DNALabs
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Ester Nunez
SudAmerica Surrogacy, Argentina
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Hanneke Naus
SurroPlans, USA
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Heather Anderson
Parent Support, Growing Families
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Jason Smith
President, Internat Fertility insurance
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Mariela Rossi
Infertility Counsellor, Argentina & Aust
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Megan Hall-Greenberg
Founder, Surro Connections, Oregon USA
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Mel Sharman
Moderator, Egg Donation Australia
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Monica Buehler
Agency Director, Accel Conceptions
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Nana Nadiradze
Lead IP Manager, ReproArt, Georgia
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Rita Alesi
Infertility Counsellor & Psychologist
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Rodney Oldham
General Manager, PakAir
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Sam Everingham
Global Expert & Growing Families Director
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Samantha Esteves
Nurse in the Ovum Donor & Surrogacy Program
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Sarah Bevan
Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, Australia
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Sarah Maree Cameron
Radio presenter, comedian & intended Parent
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Scott Swanberg
CEO, CFC & Egg Helpers
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Shawna Johnson
Gifted Journeys, USA
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Stephen Page
Family & Fertility Lawyer, Page Provan, Australia
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Steven Swanepoel
Territory Manager, Tammuz Family Aust & NZ
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Tamari Kachlishvili
Global Surrogacy Consulting, Argentina
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Family Members Sharing Their Stories

Adam Zuchetti
Dad via domestic surrogacy
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Amy White
Altruistic Egg Donor
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Andrew Boyd..
Gay Dad via USA
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Beth Williams
Victorian surrogate
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Carmen Gatt
Victorian surrogate
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Chad Robinson
Young adult via Domestic Surrogacy
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Charlotte Coombes
Mum via Donor IVF
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Daniel Culhane-Smith
Dad via Domestic Surrogacy
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Daniel Ye
Dad via USA
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Ethan Chiang-Cruise
Teen via US Surrogacy
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Francine Marques
Mum via domestic surrogacy
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Gaia & Reuben Elwell
Tweens via Surrogacy (India)
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Jessica Semmel-Manning
Vic Egg Donor
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Karen Robey
Mum via Georgia
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Kiril Siebert
Dad via Canada
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Melissa Rogers
Mum via USA
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Morgan Rennie
Young adult via Surrogacy
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Naomi Seddon
Mum via US Surrogacy
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Nova, Milli & Phoenix
Children of AU surogate
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Prue Craven
Uterine Transplant recipient
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Remy Caithness-Christoffelsz
Teen via ED surrogacy
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Samantha Reynolds
Mother of Twins Via Egg Donation
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Tamzin McLean
Donor-conceived young adult
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Teagan Couper
Melbourne Egg Donor
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Todd Robinson
Young adult via domestic surrogacy
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If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us via email:

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