Fertility Experts from around the world
Growing Families is a charity supporting Intended Parents and Surrogates
Our events promote best-practice
Run by parents for intended parents
previous arrow
next arrow

National Donor Surrogacy Conference

19 June Domestic

Saturday 19 June 2021

9.20am – 5.00pm

Hilton Hotel, 190 Elizabeth St, Brisbane City QLD

The Growing Families National Surrogacy and Donor Conference will bring the community together for the first time in 2 years.  This is a chance for intended parents, parents, egg donors, surrogates, and experts to network, share stories and learn from each other.  Learn what the IVF, donor and surrogacy process really looks like.  A panel of altruistic Australian Surrogates will share about their motivations to carry for another family.  Australian Parents will join a panel to explore how expectations can differ and how to survive the unexpected hurdles. 

Tickets include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea at the Hilton Brisbane.  There will be a Drinks Function on the Saturday afternoon followed by a Community Dinner.  

Tickets also include a consultation with a Surrogate and the Expert of your choice. 

Face to Face and Virtual Tickets Available. 

Accommodation: Growing Families has organised discounted room rates at the Brisbane Hilton. Please use these links to take advantage of discounted rates:


There are a range of options– friends and family; travelling overseas to access donor eggs, altruistic donor organisations;  fly-in eggs. This session reviews the pros and cons of Egg Banks, friend/relative as donor, EDA – setting realistic expectations about contact with donor, donor limits, anonymous vs known vs identity release, and differences in what is offered by various IVF clinics.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

There are many players in your IVF and Surrogacy Journey, a key one being your Fertility Specialist. Learn about what the process of IVF, donor and surrogacy looks like and whether there is any evidence for adjunct therapies (eg embryo glue; endometrial scratch) in raising success rates .

Dr Ben Kroon, Queensland Fertility Group, Brisbane

Faced with needing a surrogate to help you grow your family, where do you go to find one of these surrogates? As a surrogate herself who carried for people who were initially strangers, Anna will take you through how to try and find the right surrogate for YOU. Can you manage the commitment of an altruistic model of surrogacy? Also hear how SASS works (Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service). Anna strongly recommends you attend one of her free weekly webinars before attending this talk. 

Anna McKie, Surrogacy Australia

What are surrogacy agreements? Who writes them? Are they legally binding? What surrogate expenses are allowed? How does transfer of parentage work? What legal rights do Intended parents, donors and surrogates have?

Ben Sayer, Sayer Jones Family Law

Donors discuss what motivates them, how they chose a recipient, what to look for, what an egg donor goes through medically, what are the logistics and how they engage with the children of their recipients

Moderator: Narelle Dickinson
Panelists: Jemma Bacon, Mel Sharman, Sarah Dent

Why motivates some surrogates & IPs choose this path? What are the cost implications? What are the risks to look out for? What does the research show on psychological outcomes for surrogates using their own eggs?  Do such journeys require different levels of oversight? Will some IVF clinics allow  insemination in the clinic environment?

Moderator: Anna McKie

Panellists: Amelia Seymour, Machelle Daly (Traditional surrogates), Dwayne Jude (parent via traditional)

Relationships between surrogate, her partner and the intended parent are a key to success. what counselling should cover; what the counsellor is looking for; preparing yourself; potential impact on family members; Potential red flags; resolving Disputes addressing the potential mismatch between IP and surrogate priorities, how  relationships can develop or break down

Moderator: Narelle Dickinson

Panelists:  Antonia Solomon,  Katrina Hale,  Rita Alesi


This session outlines the availability of Clinic-recruited egg and sperm donors in the Australian context, the screening that is done, whether overseas donor eggs are available at Australian clinics, rules around compensation, counselling and identity-release.

Dr Neil Astill, City Fertility/Rainbow Fertility, Brisbane

Australian parents  join a panel to explore how expectations can differ, how to come to agreements on crucial issues; How support needs were or were not met; What were the toughest aspects; how to survive the unexpected hurdles; Managing expenses, communication, trust  and more.

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Trudy Bateman, Jaryd Collins & Adam Absolon

A panel of recent surrogates discuss their journeys, how they matched, motivations, support required, setting expectations, re-imbursements, , the toll on their own families, support in Fourth trimester, post-birth contact

Moderator: Katrina Hale
Panelists: Sarka Baida, Charli Lee & Machelle Daley

Many Australians use online forums such as Australian Surrogacy Community (ASC) and Egg Donation Australia for support and/or to locate altruistic donors & surrogates. While these can be useful, emotions can run high and posts be mis-interpreted. Being ‘shot down’ for an inappropriate post is commonplace. This session covers forum etiquette, limitations, forum pros and cons, opinions vs facts; how to write and share your story appropriately and options if you are banned from forums

Moderator: Antonia Solomon

Panelists; Kristina Judd, AU Sperm Donor, Surrogacy & Coparenting, Matt Davies, Gay Intending Dads forum, Mel Holman, EDA moderator

Legal transfer of parentage is available for Australian surrogacy, but requires a number of pre-conditions to be met prior to pregnancy and after the birth. Stephen Page is an Australian & International expert on these issues and has recently been through the process of being awarded parentage for his own daughter via surrogacy. Stephen will share his highly personal story of legal difficulties that even he and Mitchell encountered in working with a single surrogate.

Stephen Page, Page Provan lawyers

Breastmilk is one of the most effective way to enhance child health, yet often child via surrogacy miss out. Some surrogates express milk – others will not. Intending mothers can take medication to induce lactation. Parents can also supplement formula with donated breast milk, sourced via informal networks or charities such as Mothers Milk Bank. This session reviews the range of health, safety and psychological issues to consider for both those providing milk and recipients

Lynne Hall, Mothers Milk Bank

Family members of Australian surrogates discuss the impact of their partner or mum carrying on their lives and family. What support do they give? How do they feel? What sacrifices do they make?

Moderator: Antonia Solomon

Panelists: Tyla-Rose Taylor, Koda Lee, Sam Daley

Meet & enjoy a drink and canapes with parents, surrogates, donors and industry experts in a relaxed atmosphere

A chance for the Australian surrogacy and donor community to catch up over drinks and food. No pre-booking required. Order your own food and drinks

Gilhooleys Irish Pub, Albert St & Charlotte St, Brisbane City

Are you looking for a free 15 min Consultation with the surrogacy expert? Contact Ankita Agarwal at [email protected]

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Community Sponsors

Learn more about the Support we provide to the families or Intended Parents