On 19/20 June 2021, , Growing Families are hosting their first face-to-face conference in two years – Australia’s 10th Surrogacy & Donor Conference.
Spurred on by Australia’s record low covid rates, the donor and surrogacy community’s need for connection, discounted domestic air travel and the desire to leave home, if only for a weekend, Growing Families have finally committed to bringing surrogates, donors, intended parents and professionals together in Brisbane, Queensland in real time.
Nowadays, thanks to charities like Growing Families and Surrogacy Australia, there is a lot more support available for those considering egg donor and surrogacy routes. While Covid-related travel restrictions have slowed down processes, a surprising number have found ways to move ahead. For many it has meant shipping sperm interstate or offshore rather than travelling themselves. While the processes and paperwork involved require patience, when it comes to building family, determination is one quality you must have.
The aim of the weekend is to introduce you to parents and surrogates who have trodden your path, to kindle and renew friendships, celebrate family building, answer questions and expose you to fresh insights. Of the 36 speakers and panellists, for half it will be their first-time sharing their stories. Seven international speakers are coming in via Zoom.
When my husband and I were going through the surrogacy process over ten years ago, nearly everyone ventured offshore to locate a donor and surrogate. These days a lot more are working with an Australian donor and surrogate.
As a result, the event now devotes a whole day to domestic donor and surrogacy alternatives. Nonetheless, because Australian surrogates cannot be compensated and are usually unable to receive the support that overseas providers can offer, the second day continues to provide education around offshore egg donation and surrogacy.
This year there is a special focus on options in Australia, US, Canada, Ukraine & Greece. There will also be much information provided around international travel, travel exemptions, embryo and sperm shipping, citizenship, passports and legal parentage. There are even sessions on effective use of online forums and the latest in infant feeding options.
The upcoming two day get-together is for those at the start, en-route or at the end of their family-building journeys. Attendees come not just to socialise but to meet specialist lawyers, IVF physicians, surrogacy specialists and a host of other experts in this complex field.
Discounted early bird tickets are available until 19 May.
And in these uncertain times, don’t worry. If a Covid-19 related lockdown occurs, the event will occur online and 75% of your ticket costs will be refunded.Growing Families is an information and referral charity for those wanting to build a family.