Sam is dad to two girls Zoe & Ruby via surrogacy and has become one of the globe’s foremost commentators and researchers on surrogacy trends. He convenes conferences and seminars for intended parents in Ireland, UK, Australia and Scandinavia. Sam consults with singles and couples from around the globe to assist them to plan safe and reliable routes to building families through surrogacy. He has behind-the-scenes knowledge of providers in the US, Ukraine, Greece Georgia and Australia, as well as years of experience with South-east Asian surrogacy. He has seen the best and worst that surrogacy can deliver. He continues to promote best practice through conferences and online resources. He runs a healthcare research consultancy and is the author of three books.
Alfonso is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law, and leads the surrogacy practice at Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers. He has helped many intended parents and surrogates navigate through the challenging legal process. He clients include Australian intended parents with local surrogacy arrangements, Australian intended parents with international surrogacy arrangements, and international intended parents who have a relevant connection with Australia. He has also advised numerous surrogates, as well as advising surrogacy professionals on legal aspects of their work. He greatly enjoys being able to help guide his clients through the exciting process of creating (or adding to) a family through surrogacy, but as it is a process fraught with potential legal difficulties his vast experience helps smooth this process for his clients.
Stewart is a Barrister and Solicitor at Ryken and Associates, Auckland specialising in the law relating to assisted reproductive technology, domestic and international surrogacy, and adoption, as well as immigration and refugees. In addition, Stewart is a Board member of Fertility New Zealand.
Stewart together with his same-sex partner are the parents to children born as a result of domestic altruistic surrogacy. Stewart is a keen advocate for LGBTIQ rights and for access generally to assisted reproductive technology. In that regard, Stewart obtained a ground-breaking judgment in the New Zealand courts when he successfully argued the case for same-sex de facto couples to be able to be granted joint adoption orders. Earlier this year, Stewart represented a female same-sex couple in mediation with the Department of Internal Affairs, where he was successful in having the Department agree to change its procedures, and allow two women to be named on a child’s birth certificate as “mother” and “mother”, when the child was born as a result of assisted reproductive technology.
Damien is thrilled to be representing the Tammuz Family team. He and his partner Gilad are Melbourne-based and welcomed their son Nathaniel in to the world in October 2018 via US surrogacy. Throughout his own surrogacy journey, Damien was inspired by countless IP’s and their stories. He now manages Tammuz Family Australia & NZ. He draws on his own experience of US surrogacy to assist Australians to engage in cost-controlled surrogacy globally, including fixed cost surrogacy programs in the USA.
Brian & his partner Henry had their own child through surrogacy in Thailand in 2014. Their surrogacy journey wasn’t without some challenges and their experiences inspired them to begin helping other intended parents. Since partnering with the most respected fertility clinic in Cancun, Mexico their business has grown. Part owner of the clinics, they are able to keep costs low and secure the very best service. Brian runs day-to-day operations for surrogacy in Mexico, Georgia and Ukraine, but is also very involved in assisting clients throughout their entire surrogacy journey. He is often onsite at the clinics to offer tours and to visit with the teams, as well as surrogates and egg donors. His passion is meeting clients, joining them for periodic visits to the clinic and seeing their hearts melt when they meet their little bundles of joy for the first time.
Renee is a mother of three primary school kids including a set of twins. She shares parenting duties with her wonderful, hands-on husband. She has had two surrogacy journeys- one which resulted in the birth of a baby boy and the other which was unsuccessful. Renee is a believer in choice for intended parents and draws on her empathy and knowledge of surrogacy over the past 5+ years to support Australians engaging with Lotus Surrogacy in Ukraine.
Katrina Hale is a Sydney-based Psychologist and Infertility Counsellor with over 20 years counselling experience. She is passionate about surrogacy and a strong supporter of all walks of the community that wish to create a family through surrogacy. She is committed to helping Intending Parents and Surrogates and their partners successfully navigate their surrogacy journey together.
Hannah is a PhD Candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. She is researching surrogacy in a New Zealand context, exploring the ways that intended parents and surrogates rebel against or conform to strict reproductive regulations through their everyday reproductive practices. This sits within a wider discourse about the various ways that people make families, either through medical intervention or a deliberate, oftentimes necessary step away from assisted reproductive technology. She has recently been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University with Reprosoc. Her key interests are in medical and reproductive anthropology, surrogacy, anthropology of law vis a vis kinship studies
Isabella Calero, 21, is the first legal surrogate child born in NSW to Claudia & Carlos. After Claudia’s long battle with endometriosis, a hysterectomy & the yearning for starting a family, Claudia & Carlos were approached by Claudia’s sister Jorgie who offered to carry their child. Jorgie is Isabella’s biological mother & Carlos, her biological father – however, Isabella remains adamant that her mother is Claudia.
Lucy is one of two Directors of Paterson & Dowding Family Lawyers & Mediators. She has accumulated over 30 years of legal practise in Family Law with respect to parenting, custody and children’s matters, as well as financial disputes. She is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and a nationally and locally accredited Mediator. Graduating with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Jurisprudence from the University of Western Australia, Lucy was admitted to practice in Western Australia in 1998. Lucy has since been able to cultivate a niche practice which includes public as well as private matters having (amongst other things) acted as an Independent Children’s Lawyer:
as an advocate at trial in the Family Court WA; and
as a Child representative in Care and Protection Matters dealt with in the Children’s Court.
In maintaining a hybrid practice, Lucy also acts as mediator and as Chair in mediation conferences. This enables her to embrace her desire to resolve matters quickly and in the best interests of the parties, where possible avoiding the need for further Court intervention. Lucy’s personal passion for and interest in conducting parenting matters has led to her become a guiding presence in the Perth market on matters of surrogacy, advising parties who wish to enter into any surrogacy arrangement and the relevant involvement of the Reproduction Technology Council in Western Australia. Lucy is also well experienced in advising in relation to subsequent applications for parentage orders subject to the WesternAustralianSurrogacy Act 2008. A prominent voice in the Perth Family Law legal community, Lucy was again ranked in the 2018 Doyle’s Guide for Western Australia as a Recommended Family & Divorce Lawyer and as a Pre-eminent Lawyer in Parenting, Custody and Children’s Matters.
As a highly regarded presenter, she is often asked to Chair or sit as a panel member on complex Family Law issues relevant to the Western Australian legal profession. She is delighted to have been asked to be a part of the upcoming Perth Surrogacy & Egg Donor Seminar, which relates to issues close to her heart.
Melissa Holman is one of those wonderful women who loves to give. Gold Coast-based, she is the founder of Egg Donation Australia, a forum with 600 active donors. She is a nurse and mother of two. She will discuss how Egg Donation Australia works and the etiquette and tips around locating an altruistic donor in Australia
Throughout the past four years as a Birthing Doula it has been Tamara’s priority to ensure the birthing woman and her birth partners are fully aware and supported in their decisions, leaving the birthing space completely comfortable and at peace ensuring an optimal start to the fourth trimester. Tamara is a mother of four herself and believes every woman is entitled to a fully supported birthing experience of her choosing, encompassing her bodily autonomy and mental health, whether this be for her biological children or a surrogacy birth.
Hayley is a working mother of 2 children from Perth. She was always interested in surrogacy and seriously considered becoming a surrogate after the birth of her last child in 2014. She didn’t know anyone personally needing a surrogate so she searched for intending parents through the Australian Surrogacy Community Facebook group. After finding the IPs she wanted to help & spending time getting to know each other, she offered to help them bring their baby to life. She gave birth in March 2017 with her husband and intending parents by her side. Hayley remains passionate about surrogacy and wants to share her story to raise awareness and insight into surrogacy in Australia.
Charmaine is 33 years old and moved to Brisbane from NZ 10 years ago. She has four children of her own and one son who’s no longer with us. Charmaine has wanted to be a surrogate from the age of 15 and when she lost her son it made the urge to help others even stronger. She has been on this adventure for 4 years now and in that time experienced 8 transfers and three miscarriages. The 8th transfer was the magic one and Charmaine gave birth in October 2017
Novi is an Egg Donor who is also now an intended parent, having had an emergency hysterectomy after the birth of her daughter in Jan 2009. In 2014 Novi was researching egg freezing for herself, and came across egg donation. She has not looked back since, having completed four interstate donations since then. Novi is in the process of donating to her fifth recipient couple in Melbourne. Her four donor babies range from 4 years to 9 month old. Novi will discuss her motivations for the invasive process of egg donation
After 4 years as foster parents, and hitting an adoption brick wall, Stuart & his partner jumped into the world of surrogacy through nz-surrogacy.com; another four years, two surrogates, and a lot of sleepless night later, their daughter was born in 2016. Altruistic, traditional surrogacy was right for this couple, and their surrogate is now Auntie and a valued member of their family
After the launch of their Baby Daddies Facebook page in 2016, Auckland-based Christian Newman, 34, and husband Mark Edwards, 35 started to become a social media sensation. At first inundated with responses, after a three-month vetting process, all the potential surrogates had dropped out. The couple eventually found a suitable surrogate, 32-year-old paramedic Aleisha Hart from Nelson, in June 2016. Then in August, Newman’s 26 year old sister-in-law in New York stepped in to provide eggs. Avid Instagram users, Christian documented every step of their IVF journey on social media, including the arrival of their son, Francis Newman-Edwards on June 6 after a four year journey. They have been the subject of a TV special and various magazine features. Christian will talk about what they learned along the way.
Petar & Joel’s surrogacy journey started out with a lot of research. They deciding they had a preference for the US. They used a well regarded surrogacy agency, who helped connect them with an IVF clinic. After one round of IVF they were expecting their first child. Their son, Hugo, arrived just before Xmas in 2017 and they then returned to NZ a few weeks later. Petar will share want they learned
Rosie has carried as a traditional surrogate using home insemination in both 2012 and 2014. With her first recipient couple Rosie got pregnant on the first try but miscarried at 8 weeks. It took several more attempts until she had success, birthing a daughter in November 2012. With her second journey Rosie became pregnant on the first try and a healthy son was born in January 2013.
Donna is a single mum of two children and co-owns NZ-Surrogacy.com. She has been a traditional surrogate for a gay Australian couple, an egg donor and engaged with a private sperm donor recipient to conceive her own daughter.
Simon & his gay partner engaged in surrogacy with New Life Mexico which led to a successful birth in 2017. The Mexican state where they engaged has no laws regarding surrogacy. Their exit required three months in which to attain Australian citizenship, passports and other exit documents before they could come home. Simon will provide advice to those considering Mexico
Nadeen’s fertility issues began when she was suddenly diagnosed as having been through and early menopause aged 33. In an age of statistics and success rates, the first challenge for Nadeen and her husband Jason was to find doctors willing to try IVF. With an chronic autoimmune disease Nadeen expected there may be embryo sticking issues but the diagnosis of a uterine lining which was unsuitable for embryo transfer was one she did not expect (separate issue, unrelated to menopause, just “bad luck” they say). Fast forward four years, 13 ART cycles, five potential surrogates including one friend and one family member in four different countries, Nadeen and Jason eventually ended up with a surrogate in California. Once they met Amanda it only took one transfer and just a few weeks ago, all their Christmases came at once in one life changing day. Nadeen’s message to new IPs is to never give up. If you want it badly enough, it can happen.
Bec & her husband are a Perth couple who started their surrogacy journey in June 2017 after Bec was diagnosed with Stage 4 Asherman’s Syndrome which meant she could never carry her own baby. In July 2017 they decided to do surrogacy in the Ukraine. Bec underwent 2 rounds of IVF in Kiev in September and December 2017. On 23rd of December the clinic transferred 2 embryos to their wonderful surrogate Anastasia. In January 2018 they received the great news their surrogate was pregnant with twins. They were born in September 2018.
Mark & his wife Rachel underwent many years of failed IVF before Rachel was diagnosed wit endometriosis and immune system issues which were maing pregnancy impossible. After one final egg retrieval and embryo creation, their WA doctor gave up, but they refused to. They insisted on taking their embryos ‘for further treatment,’ shipping them to Tblisi, Georgia. At this time Mark was 48, Rachel 44. When Jayden was born in October 2017, from a batch of embryos their own doctor had written off, it was testament to the determination and hope that binds this family together. Mark will discuss their experience of Georgian surrogacy
Mark & Damian’s journey began at the June 2016 FTS Brisbane Conference where they met a number of Surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics. They first thought Canada was going to be their country of choice, but found the attention to detail and availability of well-screened surrogates left much to be desired. So they re-connected with Same Love Surrogacy in LA and by August 2016 were matched with a Surrogate. A month later they completed their IVF with San Diego Fertility Centre who transferred their first embryo in Feb 2017. While their surrogate experienced a premature membrane rupture at the 29 week mark, with the right support, all ended well and on 21 September 2017 they welcomed Isabel Rose. Mark will talk about the ups and downs and what they learnt along the way
Kyle & his husband have completed two surrogacy journeys in British Columbia leading to the birth of two sons. Their first journey was independent and their second journey they were matched by Canadian Fertility Consultants who provided surrogate support. Their first surrogacy journey only required one embryo transfer, their second journey they lost the pregnancy at 10 weeks, tried again a year later and another single embryo took . These guys looking into surrogacy when they were 30, had their first son when they were 32 and have just had their second son three years later. Kyle and his partner live between Canada and Brisbane and will discuss the Canadian model
Carla became an egg donor early in 2013 after finishing breast feeding her youngest child. Since then she has donated to more than nine recipients – four have had babies and three are currently pregnant. Two of her recipient couples have required a surrogate. Carla is passionate about known donation, and all of her recipients know each other. Like other Australian donors, Carla also became a surrogate, completing a Traditional arrangement in Victoria in March 2017. She is a moderator with Egg Donation Australia and wil be convening surrogate sessions at the conference
Rebecca and her husband’s journey began 8 years ago and after 21 IVF cycles and 2 separate failed domestic surrogacy journeys they turned to the Ukraine . They very quickly settled on Lotus Surrogacy and once they sorted finances their journey commended. Within eight weeks they were in Kyiv meeting their surrogate. Their first attempt failed but their second led to pregnancy. Their daughter was born on on 29th November 2018, a day before 40 weeks gestation. Given holiday processing delays, the family will be able to return on Australia Day 2019, 10 weeks post birth. The Newsons have settled in to enjoy a white Christmas in Kiev. At the Feb seminar, Rebecca will discuss the stressors and how to deal with them.
From the first FTS event Henry & Lisa Leggett attended three years ago, it was clear they were determined to make surrogacy work for them. Their support for the Australian Surrogacy Community and their shared journey with their surrogate Emmy Gwynne has been an inspiration to many. For the first time Henry will talk about their journey, from sourcing donor eggs from their best friend Kate King to matching with a local surrogate, to pregnancy attempts, to supporting Emmy’s needs and their own through the emotional landscape of surrogacy