• Surrogacy Experts from around the world

     
  • Families Through Surrogacy is a non-profit organisation

     
  • Run by parents for intended parents

     
  • We hold annual conferences to promote best-practice surrogacy

     
  • Meet and network with surrogates and intended parents

     

Unbiased Advice and Insight from Parents & Professionals

2-3 June 2018   Sydney Masonic Center, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 

The largest and friendliest surrogacy conference globally occurs in Australia once yearly. Bringing together hundreds of surrogates, potential surrogates, egg donors, parents and intended parents from around Australia and offshore, it has became the go-to networking and relationship-building event of the year.

Whether you want advice from expert professionals from Australia, US, Canada, Ukraine or elsewhere or are coming to connect with intended parents or surrogates, this event is for you. The conference also attracts family lawyers, fertility nurses and counsellors keen to update their understanding of surrogacy in an ever-changing environment.

Sydney Accommodation: Is booking out fast. Suggest trying AirBnB

Be inspired before you come. Check out Henry Leggett’s emotional VIDEO documenting their journey which started at an FTS conference……………

Icon Australian Seminar Series 2-3 June 2018
Program
Timing Description

The Current Surrogacy Landscape – Australia & Internationally

Recent developments,  key risks, obstacles, opportunities and how Australians are engaging in surrogacy

Sam Everingham, Families Through Surrogacy 

Embarking on the Surrogacy Journey – Understanding the Basics
The complete overview of the surrogacy process from start to finish.  Where can you do it; how long does it take; who’s involved; how does the surrogacy IVF process work; what medical factors do you need to know; how to make informed choices; how to have a smooth and successful journey.  A session delivered by experts designed to provide a solid foundation for planning your journey.
Dr. John Hesla, Oregon Reproductive Medicine
Adrienne Black, Heart to Hands​

Surrogate Workshop (Surrogates/potential surrogates only)

Managing Challenging relationships, variant IP/surrogate expectations, unexpected pregnancy complications and much more

Moderators: Sarah Jefford

IVF Add-Ons – What you really need 

IVF clinic are increasingly offering a vast array of add-ons such as Pre-genetic testing, scratch tests, embryo ‘glue’ to regular IVF. But is there evidence that these provide any added benefit? An expert cuts through to provide the facts 

Dr Sandy Chuan and Dr Michael Kettel San Diego Fertility Center

Surrogate Workshop (continued)

Egg Donor Considerations

In what circumstances should you consider an egg donor? (eg After how many failed cycles?) What characteristics are important in an egg donor and why? What criteria can you use in narrowing down egg donor profiles to maximise your chances of healthy embryos? How many eggs can you expect from a donor? What proportion result in healthy embryos? What impact do stimulated cycles have on donors?

Dr Ashim Kumar, Western Fertility

 

Surrogate Workshop

MORNING TEA & NETWORKING

Sourcing An Egg Donor

its importance is under-rated, but considering the preparation your surrogate goes through, good quality eggs are a vital ingredient. Donors, recipients & professionals discuss how they chose a local or overseas donor and take us on a journey through the options – from  Australian donor forums to international donor agencies. How they work, what to look for, and how to navigate the maze 

Moderator: Ben Warner

Panelists: Robin Newman, Global Egg Donors, Jen Dunne, Parent, Carla Pincombe, Egg Donation Australia

Surrogate Workshop (Surrogates/potential surrogates only)

 

Surrogate screening

US states such as California have some of the best surrogate screening available globally. Agency owner Brad Spencer takes us through the instruments and techniques that are used to identify which applicants have what it takes to go on this arduous journey with couples they have never met before

Brad Spencer Same Love Surrogacy, California

Surrogate Workshop

Breaking the Myths about Surrogacy in Canada 

A number of Canadian provinces allow foreigners to engage in surrogacy, whether they are single, gay or heterosexual. A small number of Canadian ‘agencies’ have worked around bans on’matching IP and surrogates by charging for support rather than matching. Nir Keren illustrates the behind-the-scenes processes through new excerpts from a detailed Canadian documentary

Nir Keren, Create IVF, Canada

..

Modern Families

In the absence of good access to adoption options, Australians are one of the largest user groups of surrogacy globally. Life Fertility are at the forefront of the rise in domestic surrogacy, managing around half of Australian cases nationally. Dr Sterling uses case studies of recent patients to provide a clear picture of the counselling, nurse support and IVF protocols used in Australian surrogacy.

Dr Glenn Sterling, Life Fertility, Queensland

US Surrogates Discuss Their Experiences

Adrienne Black  & Stacie Ludlow both have experience as US surrogates.  Now each of them helps intended parents and surrogates in matching. Its a skill built on their own vast experience having worked with  surrogates over years. Here they discuss their own journeys and what intended parents should expect and think about in build relationships with their surrogate.

Moderator: Hayley Christidis

Panelists: Adrienne Black, Heart To Hands, Oregon USA, Stacie Ludlow, Oregon Reproductive Medicine

LUNCH & NETWORKING 

A Surrogacy Guide for Same Sex Couples 

Gay men have a whole lot of new concepts to get their heads around when it comes to surrogacy – everything from approaching IVF clinics, egg donor selection & understanding IVF terminology. A crash course for gay singles and couples  

Dr Bronwyn Devine, Monash IVF  

Surrogate Panel

Why do surrogates carry altruistically for singles and couples they have never known before? Moderated discussion about motivations, emotional and support needs, what they look for in intended parents and the emotions at delivery. Includes the importance of birth photos and examples for gay and heterosexual couples

 

Surrogacy Growth in Ukraine

Ukraine is booming as a surrogacy destination for heterosexual married intended parents from around the globe. Access to well-screened surrogates and high quality IVF, as well as legal recognition under Ukraine law  are  a few of the factors driving popularity. Yannir talks about these as well as the growth of surrogacy agencies and IVF clinics and what to look at in selecting a provider.

Yannir Goldsmid, Lotus Surrogacy, Ukraine

Moderator: Anna McKie

Panelists: Cass Lake, Charmaine Staal, Bree Miller, Amanda Meehan

How to Minimise Risk in Cross Border Surrogacy

To control IVF costs, intended parents are increasingly taking surrogates from their own country to the US, or US surrogates to Cyprus or SE Asia for embryo transfer procedures. This session compares bringing embryos from abroad to the US for transfer vs US surrogates travelling for embryo transfer. It explores the changing landscape, highlights the risks and how best to minimise these for you, your surrogates and egg donor

Dr Markus Nitzshke, My Donor Cycle & Surrogacy

Surrogate Panel (continued)

AFTERNOON TEA & NETWORKING

 

Parent Panel – International Surrogacy

Recent parents through surrogacy via Australia, Ukraine & US  share their journeys, the decisions they had to make, the ups and downs and what they learned along the way

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists:  Mark Davidson (used USA), Peter Gaunt (used USA), Janet Giddings (used Ukraine) Rachel Musto (used Canada)

Australian Surrogacy Journeys

Gay & heterosexual Australians who successfully engaged in domestic surrogacy share their journeys and advice

Moderator: Clinton Bryan Mathieson,

Panelists: Ben Warner, Steven Dunne, Amanda Bates,  Adam Haysom-McDowell

Overseas Surrogacy Break-out sessions

Smaller group sessions to give you the chance to ask detailed questions of several parents & experts regarding US, Canada or Ukraine

USA: Mark Davidson, Peter Gaunt, Clint Priest (single dad), Felicity Kennedy
Ukraine: Janet Giddings, Dana Magdassi, Louise Riding
Canada: Rachel Musto, Andy Leonard, Nir Keren, Sara Fehrman

Break Out Sessions – Domestic 

The chance for more informal, smaller group discussion about Australian Surrogacy with parents

Overseas Surrogacy Break Out Sessions (continued)

Drinks & Networking Function

Catch up with surrogates, intended parents, donors, parents and experts to continue the conversations developed through the day

Icon Australian Seminar Series 3 June 2018
Program
Timing Description

A Best Practice Framework for Australian Surrogacy

Surrogacy Australia launches their ‘ideal’ framework, the evidence it is based on and a strategy for influencing government to adopt the recommendations

Karen Mills, Secretary, Surrogacy Australia

Meet the Expert Sessions

Booked 1-on-1 sessions with experts on US, Canadian, Australian & Ukranian surrogacy

The Basics of Australian Altruistic Surrogacy

Surrogate and surrogacy lawyer Sarah Jefford discusses the overall process of Australian surrogacy (IVF, counselling, legals) including allowed compensation and likely timelines. Australian surrogate forum moderator Anna McKie discusses how to find an Australian surrogate #101. Is Australian surrogacy the path for us?

Sarah Jefford & Anna McKie

The Legal Framework for Surrogacy in Australia

Ben Sayer has become one of the countries most proficient lawyers for domestic surrogacy arrangements. Australian legal processes for surrogacy can be frustrating, unless you understand them. This presentation guides you through the legal requirements and eligibility for Australian surrogacy state-by state, to provide you with a great grounding in this area

Ben Sayer, Sayer Jones, Melbourne

 

Managing Communication between Intended Parents, Surrogates and IVF Professionals

Through lack of availability at home, many Australians engage in surrogacy far distant from their own cities. This can require particular efforts to ensure communication between you, your surrogate, IVF clinic and surrogacy agency are clear and communications not misunderstood. A panel of experts discusses what they do behind the scenes and what you can do.

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists:  Louise Riding, Ilaya Clinic, Ella McNamara, Fertility Center of Las Vegas

MORNING TEA & NETWORKING

The Legal Parenthood Conundrum

Countries such as Ukraine, US, Canada, Greece & Georgia all grant legal parentage to the commissioning foreign couple, but Australia’s Family Law Act currently has no  mechanism to recognise such arrangements. US & Canada grant parentage via court orders which are used to support Australian citizenship application but not legal parentage . Australians using Ukraine, Georgia and Kenya need a genetic link to satisfy citizenship requirements. Those using Australian surrogacy are eligible for legal transfer of parentage, but this doesnt occur until months post birth. Surrogacy legal experts from Australia and overseas tease out the differences and the work-around solutions in an imperfect world.

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Monica Blizzard, KHQ Lawyers, Melbourne; Dana Magdassi, Lotus Surrogacy, Ukraine

The  Counselling Process

Two of Australia’s most popular surrogacy psychologists  discuss relationships between surrogate, her partner and the intended parent . This session covers building relationships; what counselling should cover; what the counsellor is looking for,; preparing yourself; potential impact on family members; Potential red flags in the matching process; and resolving disputes. Includes audience Q&A

Katrina Hale, Miranda Montrone

Intended Parent Panel

Those currently navigating surrogacy journeys in Australia and overseas discuss what led them to surrogacy, the obstacles, heartaches, joys and how and where they find support

Moderator: Ella McNamara

Panelists:  Rebecca Kalpakoff (Ukraine) John M (US) Kevin S (Australia) Faycal Benabdellaziz (Canada)

LUNCH & NETWORKING

 

Research with Australian Surrogates and Parents

Based on interviews with Australian surrogates and intended mothers, the session explore relationships between parties, their respective motherhood identities. Sheds light on factors that may influence a positive or negative relationship outcome. What can you plan and look out for to nurture this relationship? How can you navigate expense reimbursement in the absence of agencies?

Alice Aickin, Swinburne University, Victoria

Men in the Middle Panel

Husbands of surrogates discuss coping when your partner won’t give up; adjusting to your partner carrying for someone else; how they manage relationships, finances and their sanity

Moderator: Hayley Christidis

Panelists: Richard Pring, Mick Vriens

Surrogate Panel: After Birth Emotions

What post natal emotions should surrogates expect; Coming to terms with mental vs hormonal conflicts; dealing with loneliness, post-natal depression and feelings of abandonment. Surrogates discuss ongoing relationships and reflect on their journeys.

Moderator: Katrina Hale

Panelists: Sascha Costigan, Shavone Schedewy, Shannon Garner, Kath Wood

 

Country Exit, Citizenship & Passports
Provides a detailed overview of the steps required to ensure a smooth journey post-birth, in relation to birth certificates, DNA testing, court orders, parentage, citizenship & passport application processes and paperwork. Do you need to engage an Australian lawyer or migration agent? How long will you need to be away from home? Can exit process be shortened? This session focuses on Ukraine, Canada, & USA as well as newer destinations such as Kenya

Poonam Jain

Jizz & All That Jazz

What is traditional surrogacy? how does Australian law deal with traditional surrogacy, why do surrogates opt for using their own eggs? Key considerations and differences to be aware of and the logistics of home insemination

Sarah Jefford