I have been working in this field for over a decade and the intended parents who come most unstuck in creating family are those who try to rely solely on social media tips as their manual for family building. While the casual advice from past parents is well-meaning, every journey is different and this is a constantly changing space. A provider that might have been a great choice two years ago may be a dog today. Staff change, capacity changes.

Then there are the paperwork processes for cross-border arrangements. These are also in flux. Covid has meant significant changes to procedures and requirements. Even experts like Growing Families have had to work hard to stay up-to-date on the latest requirements for travel, embryo and sperm shipping, country exit and exit rules, surrogate vaccination, donor availability, match wait times and insurance.

One of our roles is to share this knowledge and insights, given this is an area too important to get wrong.

Growing Families has been running family building education since its first sold-out conference in 2012. Over this time we have assisted thousands of intended parents to create family across the globe, through  events, webinars, website resources, gamete shipping, one-on-one consultations, travel and exit support.

In February and March 2022, we return to face-to-face events around the globe for double-vaccinated attendees. For there is no doubt that the level of trust inherent in family building arrangements, whether with a donor, a surrogate or both, demands not only a leap of faith, but that you leave your comfort zone to meet providers and other parents in person.

Each event provides inside knowledge of both regulated and unregulated donor and surrogacy options across the globe. Each features practical information and advice on North American and European programs as well as domestic options and emerging programs in South America. The reality is that your options depend on your sexual orientation, budget, timelines and risk tolerance. The good news is there are options for a range of budgets. The key issue is to understand your options as early as possible

Growing Families unique events brings together parents, surrogates, intended parents and professionals from around the globe. Focused on information, support, acceptance and advocacy, their popularity lies in honesty – parents and surrogates sharing their real-life journeys.

We have full day conferences coming up in Sydney (12 Feb), Melbourne (13 Feb), London (19 March), Dublin (26 March), as well as half-day seminars in both Auckland and for the first time Wellington, New Zealand.

With each event featuring 12 – 30 speakers and panelists, across six events that’s a total of over 120 experts: surrogates, young adults via surrogacy, lawyers, counsellors, health care professionals and migration experts exploring the complexities and how best to lay the groundwork for successful journeys. Perhaps most valuable are the parents and surrogates sharing what they learned and what they would do differently next time.

By coming along you will have the chance to ask some of the tough questions about logistics, sourcing donors, surrogate matching; donor options and Covid vaccination – just to name a few of the myriad topics covered.

Increasingly too, our events provide a meeting place for the community – a chance to come together, celebrate successes, support journeys and meet the sons and daughters brought into the world through a mix of determination, trust and love.

(Note that some events will have virtual tickets available for those unable to travel – check our events schedule here.)