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National Surrogacy and Egg Donation Conference- Sydney

Sat- Sun 18-19 June 2022

Sat 9.30am - 6.30 pm Sun 9.30am -3.20pm

Novotel Sydney Central 169 Thomas St, Haymarket

This event is a chance for intended parents, parents and experts to network, share stories and learn from each other.  Learn what the IVF, donor and surrogacy processes really looks like in Australia and internationally.   Parents will join our popular ‘tell-all’ panel to explore how expectations can differ and how to survive the unexpected hurdles. 

This event will guide you on : 

  • Crucial decision-making on providers and destinations
  • Risks and how to avoid them
  • Which programs are you eligible for
  • Legal issues
  • Cost & timing considerations

Email us at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Protecting Your Health
To ensure the safest conference experience,  presenters, staff, attendees need to be fully vaccinated and should carry a full vaccination certificate or a doctor certificate for those who can’t be vaccinated due to health reasons. 

Ticket Types
Virtual and Face-to-face tickets are available, although you will get much more from the weekend face-to-face

Conference Committee

Sam Everingham, Tyson Culhane-Smith, Anita Uglietta, Kevin So, Karma Bottari, Carissa Perdulovski


Saturday 18 June 2022

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Provides a Step By Step guide to the Australian Egg Donor and Surrogacy model

Anna McKie, Surrogacy Australia

What are the options & costs in Australia and globally. Which environments offer Known, ID release and anonymous donors? Can eggs be imported to Australia? What are the rules? Friends or family as donors. How successful are donors from frozen egg banks, Can donors fly to Australia? Which Australian clinics have access to OS donors?

Kirsty Barber Manor Medical

Provides an end-to-end overview of the processes and procedures, timelines, likely hurdles and impact; carrying for local vs distant recipients;  state-based differences; pros and cons of traditional vs gestational arrangements; Commitment required,

Amanda Meehan, Katrina Hale, Anna McKie

Does sperm need to be checked before IVF? How commonly is there something wrong? Can a woman’s eggs be checked before starting? What tests are recommended before Donor IVF or surrogacy? How is surrogate screening done? What are the live birth rates based on donor age? What other factors affect success?

Dr Shadi Khashaba, IVF Australia

What groups can assist you, what other resources are available; what professional support is there , broaching the topic with friends,

Amanda Meehan, Katrina Hale, Anna McKie

Donna has 21 years experience as  a registered nurse & midwife. Now working as  Fertility nurse with Dr Nick Lolatgis, she has one child conceived via  clinic-recruited donor sperm, one via a donor embryo.  Donna  is now carrying as a surrogate. This talk takes you inside the realities of accepting you need help, disclosure, the realities & side effects of the process and motivations for giving back.

Donna McCoull, Centre for Infertility Solutions Victoria

Creating enough good embryos is key for success. Is there a difference between using fresh vs frozen eggs? What is a ‘good’ number of eggs per IVF cycle; What proportion of eggs can be expected to make embryos and mature to good quality blastocysts? It what cases might PGD testing benefit before transfer? What do ‘guarantee’ IVF programs offer?

Clifford Librach Create (via Zoom)


Surrogacy is the most extraordinary and unforgettable gift a woman can give. It is not just a medical act of kindness, but a soul contract with another person to bring life into the world.

What rights does the egg donor have? What about the surrogate? Is there a contract or agreement protecting the surrogate and intended parent? What if things change along the way? Do I need legal representation? What are the legal ramifications if we stop working together? How does State law protect all parties?

Cassandra Kalpaxis, Kalpaxis Law

 It is important that you feel honoured, empowered, beautiful, heard and given to. This session allows newer surrogates to learn from experienced surrogates, strengthen friendships and mentorship opportunities

Whether you are looking at family formation here in Australia or offshore, costs can escalate. Altruistic surrogacy does not mean free. How can I realistically budget for an egg donor or surrogacy journey?  When are payments due? What kinds of unexpected costs can arise? What are  costs in different countries? In what contexts are Fixed Price programs available? What do they exclude? Can medicare or health insurance cover some elements? What about drawing on my superannuation? Can I get a loan or re-draw on my mortgage?

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

What are they looking for in recipients? What kind of support is needed from recipients, from counsellors, nurses and doctors? What are the hurdles? How do they cope with miscarriage and failed transfers? To what extent does their partner and own family support them? Repeat journeys, failed relationships and much more

Moderator: Amanda Meehan Panelists: Charmaine Staal, Megan Guinta; Leanne McKay

Caroline Bilkey, Mummys Whispers 

Australian parents who worked with a local donor, surrogate or both to create family talk about matching,  the ups and downs; acceptance by family and friends;  How do you approach the myriad questions from others?  Do mothers groups welcome gay dads?  Breaching the topic with professionals and colleagues; What they would have done differently and what they learned along the way

Moderator: Katrina Hale Panelists: Will Reilly (gay dad; Trudy Bateman (hetero mum) Mark Sewalt (gay dad) Tyson Culhane-Smith

Given the fact that Australian altruistic agreements are not binding, what certainty is there that your surrogate will relinquish your child? Is this a valid fear/ What checks and balances does the Australian system offer? Who appears on your child’s birth certificate and does this equate with who is the legal parent?

Stephen Page, Page Provan lawyers

What does foster care look like as an avenue to parenthood?  How long are the wait times?  What training is required? Are their permanent care options? What sort of child am I eligible for? This session answers many of the questions around foster care options.

Moderator: Sam Everingham Panelists Ruth Drennan, Barnados. Sarah Abbott, Key Assets

Leaping into surrogacy or ED before you are emotionally ready can make it tough for all parties. When the unexpected happens and your surrogate miscarriages, or your egg donor drops out on you, you don’t need to suffer alone. Provides tips on how to support each other, support yourself, the pros and cons of unloading online and when to seek professional counselling

Katrina Hale, Fertility Psychologist


Renee Adair, Australian Doula College

Children and partners of surrogates discuss

Moderator: Ian Trevallian

Panelists: Chrissy Perdulovski, Yukio Soares, Christina Picard, Isabella Giunta

How do children born via egg donation or surrogacy feel about how they were created? How and when did they learn about their donor or surrogate? What do they think of the story books their parents used? For those who have two dads, and not a mum, is this an issue? What do the tell their friends and teachers? What curiosity do they have to meet their donor or surrogate?

Moderator: Anna McKie Panelists: Lexie Smith, Ruby Everingham, & Elijah Merrell-Knowles

Palace Hotel, 730-740 George St, Sydney

Sunday 19 June 2022

Which countries have reliable and well-regulated programs? What are the current capacity issues? What risks should be factored in? What are the relative costs?

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Megan Hall-Greenberg, Surro Connenctions, Oregon

Dr Ashim Kumar

Western Fertility, California, USA

Provides a summary of the protective laws, screening and matching process for foreign intended parents in the Canadian context

Leia Swanberg, Canadian Fertility Consulting, Cindy Wasser, Hope Springs Fertility Law

What are you comfortable with? Strengthening the relationship? What communication is effective? What can help? Forming a bond

Brittany Collins, Hatch Surrogacy, USA

IVF processes are expensive, so it is vital that the psychological and medical screening of both donors and surrogates is thorough. In the US context, this screening is best practice. Learn what carrier screening means, what can be tested prior to progressing and what number of eggs, embryos and blastocysts  should be aiming for in the US context.

Dr Lori Arnold,  California Center for Reproductive Medicine, USA

Given the Ukraine crisis, what impact is this having on one of the few other regulated destinations for heterosexual couples? What are the paperwork requirements to prove defacto status? What are the match times? 

Dr Tea Charkviani, ReproArt, Georgia


This sessions goes into detail regarding options in Argentina  for egg donor surrogacy, guarantee programs, surrogate and donor availability, laws, birth certificates and exit processes

Tamari Kachlishvili,  Surrogacy Consulting, Argentina,

What are the expectations around contact during the pregnancy? What about language barriers? What can i do to support my surrogate? Should I visit during the pregnancy? What are her expectations of a post-birth relationship

Stephanie Martin, Be Parent, Georgia & Cyprus

What motivates surrogates to carry for a foreigner? What do they like about the agency support provided? What are their expectations about relationships and contact with parents? What can parents do at a distance to support?

Kristyn Soares, USA, Leia Swanberg, Canada

Recent parents who engaged in egg donation and/or surrogacy in the US, Canada, Greece, Georgia share. How did  matching work,  the ups and downs; acceptance by family and friends;  How do you approach the myriad questions from others?  Do mothers groups welcome gay dads?  Breaching the topic with professionals and colleagues; What they would have done differently and what they learned along the way

Moderator; Sam Everingham Panelists: Anita Fiorenza (mum via Georgia) Rob Wills (dad via US), Lauren Robertson (mum via Canada) Michelle Hill (mum via Greece)

Are international contracts valid in Australia? Can an Australian lawyer review these? What protections do I have if the contract is not fulfilled? Are overseas parenting orders recognised in Australia? What can I/we do to ensure we are legally recognised as having parental responsibility?

Aboorva Sundar, Sarah Bevan lawyers

Shirley Voshol, Mediterranean Fertility Institute, Crete

What are the testing required in overseas arrangements? What is the purpose? How long does it take? Is it mandatory? Can I commence the process before the birth? What labs are accredited to do the testing? 

Emma Solly, DNA Labs

Should I cycle overseas or in Australia? If I do not want to travel, or already have embryos, what are the new rules around sperm and embryo shipping? What are the paperwork requirements? What are the costs of shared shipping? What is the difference between hand-carry and sensitive freight? What are the risks?

Sam Everingham & Heather Anderson, Growing Families

Your national health will not cover your child until you return home and the USA does not have a comparable program for non-residents. As part of your surrogacy planning, you need to consider insurances and medical cover for your surrogate and newborn as you are liable for the costs. We will outline different common scenarios and ways to protect yourself against high medical bills in the USA.

Hanneke Naus, SurroPlans

Roman Deauna, Far & Wide Migration

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If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us via email: [email protected].

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