Offshore Surrogacy

Growing Families Research

Research Shows Most Australians Go Offshore, but Would Prefer Domestic Surrogacy

On 8 November, the international research journal Human Fertility, published a Surrogacy research paper on Australians decision-making, characteristics and outcomes of surrogacy arrangements completed in Australia and Offshore. Growing Families and co-author Sam Everingham played key roles in respondent recruitment, research design and analysis.  The paper draws on quantitative interviews with 319 intended parents and parents in 2021 – the largest study of its kind. Over two in five respondents (43%) had completed at least one surrogacy arrangement (n = 136), 28% were in their first surrogacy arrangement (n = 90), and 29% were planning on surrogacy (n = 93). 

Below we have provided some highlights from this paper. 

The mean age of respondents was 40 years (range 24–66). Eleven percent pursued surrogacy as a single person. Approximately two-thirds considered and/or attempted alternative parenting options before deciding on surrogacy, with adoption (68%) being the  most frequently contemplated. Respondents considering adoption ultimately decided to pursue surrogacy due to the perceived long wait times associated with adoption (71%) and a desire to raise a genetically related child from birth (57%). 

Respondents accessed information about surrogacy from multiple sources, most frequently online sources including closed Facebook surrogacy groups (66%), the websites of non-profit surrogacy organizations (57%), and the websites of overseas surrogacy agencies (54%).

Respondents were asked whether they had completed, were completing or were planning to complete surrogacy in Australia and/or overseas. Almost half selected surrogacy overseas (46%), while the remaining selected surrogacy in Australia (31%,), surrogacy in Australia and overseas (18%), or that they had not decided yet (5%).

Of the 136 respondents who had completed surrogacy, 79% had done so overseas. However of those completed, in process and preparing for overseas surrogacy (n=203), for only 8% was this their preference. Almost all would have rather pursued surrogacy in Australia (92%). Perceiving domestic surrogacy as a long and complicated process was the most common reason for pursuing surrogacy overseas (69%). Desiring involvement with the pregnancy was the most frequently reported reason for pursuing surrogacy in Australia (50%).

The full paper along with its recommendations, can be accessed here

Providing Intended Parents Knowledge and Insight