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.
Dr. Kumar is board certified in reproductive endocrinology and obstetrics and gynecology and practices near Los Angeles, California. In recent years Dr. Kumar has focused his efforts for those that have had difficulty conceiving and require an egg donor and/or gestational surrogacy. Over half of his current patients are from overseas which include Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, & the UK. He has been asked to present his work across the world including Australia, India, China, and Italy and has contacts in numerous clinics that collaborate closely to provide seamless care.
He has worked with world-renowned leaders at both UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Kumar has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on endocrine and surgical aspects of infertility. Dr. Kumar has written several textbook chapters on management of tubal factor infertility and ovarian function including premature ovarian failure, and has a special interest in hormonal and functional causes of infertility such as polycystic ovary syndrome, tubal disorders, male factor infertility, and donor/surrogate reproduction. He is also a member of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society and American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
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Fertility Specialist, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, USA
Dr John Hesla
Fertility Specialist, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, USA
Dr Hesla co-leads Oregon Reproductive Medicine’s global practice and with his partners has helped patients from over 40 countries build their families. He joined ORM in 1999 when he co-founded its IVF program. He was instrumental in building ORM’s pioneering embryology clean-room, one of the first in the world. He continues to push that high level of innovation and excellence in every aspect of patient care. Prior to joining ORM, Dr. Hesla was the Director of IVF and Head of the Reproductive Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which during his tenure there was ranked #1 in the USA for reproductive medicine in the USA. He founded the IVF program at Emory University and was co-director of the IVF program at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. He holds a bachelors degree from Harvard University and completed his medical training at OHSU, in Portland, Oregon, UCLA and Johns Hopkins University. He is the Medical Director of Parents via Egg Donation (PVED).
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Adrienne has been an active member of the Assisted Reproductive Technology field since 2003, when she became personally interested in surrogacy. In 2007, Adrienne delivered a little boy for domestic heterosexual Intended Parents, and in 2009 carried his boisterous and charming brother and sister. In February of 2012, she delivered twin girls for an international heterosexual family. Her final surrogacy was for a pair of Daddies in the Pacific Northwest.
She worked in the surrogacy legal field as a legal assistant for over 5 years, and has an extensive understanding of the legal components of surrogacy relationships. She left her job as a legal assistant to serve clients in the more intimate and genuine setting of Heart to Hands Surrogacy. Adrienne also co-chairs the Oregon Surrogacy Professionals Organization.
In addition to her experience with surrogacy and ART, Adrienne has a professional background in midwifery and birth work. She has worked in the birth community since 1998, as a doula, childbirth educator and birth assistant, and completed the midwifery program at Seattle Midwifery School in 2003. She has extensive training in counseling, communication and facilitation. Adrienne has a deep belief in the beauty and hard work of surrogacy. She is committed to supporting and facilitating loving, strong and cooperative relationships between Intended Parents and Surrogates.
Dr. Sandy S. Chuan is a dedicated fertility specialist, double-board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She embarked on her medical career as an undergraduate, at the University of California where she received a Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences and a Bachelors of Arts in Comparative Literature. She obtained her medical degree from the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
Following her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, Dr. Chuan completed her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Chuan received numerous honors and awards throughout her medical education and residency. At Loma Linda University she was presented with the Outstanding Senior Resident Physician Award and was named Berlex Best Teaching Resident. Dr. Chuan has extensive research experience spanning various topics including the role of HCG in assisted reproduction, follicular development in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome and detecting sperm maturation for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. In addition to her clinical research, she has published a wide spectrum of articles and presented medical findings at various events hosted by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Endocrine Society and UCLA. A member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ASRM and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Dr. Chuan stays up to date on the latest technological and medical advancements.
Dr. Chuan relocated with her family to the United States she was 8 years old. As a result of her international upbringing, she is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese, allowing her to care for patients in both languages. Dr. Chuan is committed to providing comprehensive and excellent clinical care to patients in the Temecula Valley, San Diego region and from around the globe. When she’s not spending time with her 3 children, Dr. Chuan enjoys singing, reading and amateur photography.
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Admitted to practice in the High Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria, Ben is a member of the Law Institute Of Victoria. He has advocated extensively in Family Law and has represented clients in relation to domestic altruistic surrogacy for over a decade. He has advised extensively on domestic and international Adoption and Surrogacy, and takes a personal interest in this unique and specialised area of law.
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Dr Bronwyn Devine is a gynaecologist and fertility specialist based in Sydney. Having graduated with an MBBS (Hons 1) from The University of Sydney, Bronwyn worked at Westmead Hospital and was admitted to the training program in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She completed the final two years of her fellowship at RHW in Sydney and moved to Canberra with her young family to begin life as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist. There she worked for Canberra Fertility Centre as Clinical Director and at ISIS Fertility. Bronwyn has completed a Masters of Reproductive Health (UNSW) and Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (Sexual Health) (University of Melbourne). She is a professional affiliate of the Australian Chapter of Sexual Health Physicians of the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
Bronwyn’s other interests include Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Congenital Anomalies of the Female Reproductive Tract. She is passionate about improving access to ART services for members of the LGBTIQ community.
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Brad Spencer was born, raised and has resided in Los Angeles for over 40 years. He has worked as a successful investment professional for nearly 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Finance. Brad’s hobbies include tennis, golf, travel, and spending time with his family. It was tennis that brought Brad and his life partner together. The two met at a tennis tournament in Texas while both were touring on the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance World Tour. During a doubles match, Brad hit his future life partner with an overhead shot, his partner returned the favor later in the match, both shared competitive glares, and the rest is history. Both Brad and his partner come from large and supportive Italian and Mexican families, and both have always dreamed of having children of their own. The two shared the amazing experience of having twin boys through surrogacy, with the good fortune to have a family member as an egg donor. The couple continues to have a close relationship with their surrogate and her family. Brad is an active supporter and volunteer for a national non-profit organization to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth.
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Yannir is a founder of Lotus Surrogacy. Dividing his time between Ukraine and Israel, Yannir is on hand to welcome intended parents and look after all their needs. He understands the Ukraine system intimately. Yannir has handled the logistical aspects of over 200 surrogacy cases in India, Nepal and Ukraine over the last 12 years.
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Renee Golland is in her mid 30’s, is a Victorian surrogate and mother of three primary school kids including a set of twins. She works part time, studies at Uni and shares parenting duties with her wonderful, hands-on husband, Matthew. Renee birthed a son for her first intended parents in November 2014 which she describes as an amazing experience. Her second surrogacy journey in VIC with another set of IP’s was incredibly challenging and ultimately unsuccessful. Renee coordinates successful surrogacy dinners in Melbourne and her blog www.tummymummy11.wordpress.com chronicles her journey.
For Robin Newman, the emotional and financial strain of infertility wrecked her marriage. Single at 45, she travelled the world to rediscover a meaningful direction. Her Global Egg Donors program was conceived in South Africa. In ten years it has grown to include clinics in Barbados, Canada, India, Greece, Poland and the USA, providing ethnically diverse donors from 18 countries. Robin’s donors have provides the eggs in the pudding for over 560 babies through surrogacy including many Australians.
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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.
Louise Riding is the newest addition to the Ilaya team, joining the Spain office in 2017 playing a key role in the operations team.
With 8 years of experience working in diverse industries and always with a passion for people, she is now deeply involved in ensuring ilaya offers the very best experience for Intended parents in their clinic in Ukraine.
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Dr Nitzschke is a highly accomplished physician from Germany who completed his fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Bern University (Switzerland) and Bonn University (Germany). He completed his residency training at Strasbourg University (France), Barcelona University and Bern University. Dr Nitzschke is double board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology by the German Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2012, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists assessed Dr Nitzschke’s skills as Substantially Comparable to Australian standards.
At Bern University, Dr Nitzschke led a research group developing new treatment approaches with the idea to reduce infertility treatments costs. As a result, he became a pioneer in natural cycle and minimal stimulation IVF, which reduces costs up to 70%, with success rates comparable to traditional treatments. He has trained IVF doctors from Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, Nepal, India and Cambodia in these lower cost IVF protocols. During his trips he connected with intended parents through surrogacy from Europe, Israel and Australia.
Dr Nitzschke has become a leading supervising specialist in the medical part of egg donation and surrogacy treatments. In 2014 and 2015 he performed and/or supervised over 500 successful surrogacy treatments in Nepal. Through his respected methods, he has made surrogacy safer, more affordable, and more efficient for all parties involved. In collaboration with professionals around the globe, Dr Nitzschke now offers affordable surrogacy solutions in the United States and Asia.
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Miranda Montrone is a health psychologist and family therapist who has more than 30 years of experience working in infertility and assisted reproduction, including 10 years as an IVF clinic counsellor. She he has counselled people in approximately 250 surrogacy cases. This includes pre-surrogacy assessment counselling, during pregnancy counselling, and post surrogacy birth relinquishment counselling and parentage order reports. Miranda has also done a quantitative and qualitative analysis of 120 pre surrogacy counselling cases.
International Client Liaison, Fertility Center of Las Vegas
International Client Liaison, Fertility Center of Las Vegas
Ella supports Australians engaging in US IVF procedures with Dr Bruce Shapiro’s Fertility Center of Las Vegas. Ella is well-known to many as the past marketing manager of Families Through Surrogacy and a mother to two boys. She lives in Sydney and has a wide network of contacts in the Australian and international IVF communities. Her knowledge and contacts help to smooth the process for intended parents.
With unsurpassed previous diplomatic/embassy experience and contacts, Poonam has made many friends amongst intended parents via international surrogacy for her no-nonsense services ensuring a seamless process for parents eager to return home with their newborns. Well known for her work in India, she has translated this expertise to assisting singles and couples exit from Ukraine with minimal delays She is an expert in travel documents, passport and citizenship requirements, flights and hotel arrangements, particularly for Australian citizens.
With almost 20 years of experience in family law, Monica Blizzard is an Accredited Family Law Specialist with the Law Institute of Victoria, a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.
Monica also has expertise in surrogacy matters, having previously presented at national conferences for Surrogacy Australia and Families Thru Surrogacy.
Monica takes a holistic approach to family law and relationship matters, often inviting the assistance of psychologists, family report writers, financial experts such as accountants and financial planners and specialist taxation advice to ensure that the journey through the family law process is both efficient and cost effective.
Monica is an active member of the Law Institute of Victoria, being an Executive Committee member of the Collaborative Law Section, and of Victorian Women’s Lawyers as part of the Work Practices Committee. She is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.
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Alice is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology. She holds a BSocSc(Psych) and BA(Hons), in which she investigated women’s childbirth experiences. Her
research interests include reproductive technologies, birth, motherhood and relationships, as well as maternal and infant health. Alice’s PhD explores the relationships between surrogates and intended mothers, as well as their respective motherhood identities.
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.
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
Janet & Lee Giddings have pursued their dream of parenthood since 2012, attempting surrogacy in not only Australia but three other nations. In October 2014 they applied for a visa for surrogacy in India and Lotus Surrogacy assisted them in selecting an Indian egg donor in Mumbai. When India closed, they refocused efforts on Nepal and then ultimately in Ukraine. With the help of Lotus their son Lewis was finally born in Kiev in May 2017.
Bec & her husband 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. Both twins are traveling along well and as of the 4th June will be 26 weeks.”
Kath is a loud and proud egg donor and gestational surrogate from Geelong, Vic. Kathbecame an egg donor in 2012 after having her second child. She has donated to 4 families resulting in 5 donor babies, and Kath is very passionate about known donation in Australia. After retiring her ovaries she felt the next step was to be a surrogate. Kath met her IPs, Ben and Terry through Fertility Connections in late 2016, they built a solid friendship and Kath had the honour of carrying their daughter who she gave birth to in January 2018.
Sascha is a Sydney-based traditional surrogate who has worked in the NGO field for 16 years, with particular focus on the Indigenous sector for the last 11 years. She is mother to a beautiful 7 year old boy who she lives with along with her best friend, her best friend’s hubby and 4 dogs! She offered to be a surrogate to her close friends and her son’s two godfathers in 2014. The initial awkward conversation of offer was followed by the crazy, sometimes tumultuous, sometimes hilarious ride, into surrogacy resulting in the birth of a daughter for her friends in late 2015. The lovely bub is blessed to have 5 sets of grandparents and a wonderful extended collective of family and friends. Traditional surrogacy is increasing in Australia, and can be fraught with ups and downs, but we are all very grateful for the experience.
Peter & Kevin engaged in surrogacy with Oregon Reproductive Medicine & NorthWest Surrogacy in Portland USA after attending an FTS seminar a few years ago. Today they are dads to a 12 month old boy William, conceived with the help of an ORM egg Donor and after three embryo transfers. Peter will discuss their journey
Karen is mum to 20 year old Matt with the professional help from Center for Surrogate Parenting based in California and their Denver based surrogate. From the sheep farm she and her husband run in the Riverina, Karen has become a tireless advocate for surrogacy law reform. Her good sense and wise counsel have been huge assets through her roles over many years with Surrogacy Australia and the organising committee for the FTS conferences.
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
Richard is married to altruistic surrogate Annita Pring and has two gorgeous children. Molli is their biological daughter and their son Witta they adopted from Thailand so he appreciates that families can be created in different ways. He lives on the mid north coast of NSW. He has supported Annita through three surrogacy journeys for both a hetero couple in QLD and two same sex couples here in Sydney. There were many highs but also some devastating lows along the way. Richard did an amazing job as mediator between Annita and the intended parents with issues such as costs, the logistics of travel, couriering of frozen breast milk and the emotional ups and downs during the whole process.
Cass is 28 years old and from Tinonee on the NSW mid North Coast near Taree. She has three children of her own aged 10, 8 and 6. Becoming a surrogate is something she has always wanted to do. Cass is passionate about helping others achieve their dreams and goals. She has donated her eggs twice to couples to help them achieve their dreams, so surrogacy was the next step to giving the greatest gift of a family. On 5 December 2017, Cass had an extended 24 hour labour in Manning River hospital, losing three litres of blood. Nonetheless she delivered a baby boy Atlas for gay couple Juan & Christian. While she wanted to carry again for another couple, Doctors have advised Cass that another surrogacy would be to risky for her own health.
Sarah Jefford is a family and surrogacy lawyer working from Melbourne. Sarah has personal experience of infertility and IVF, has since become an egg donor and has just carried as a surrogate using her own eggs. In 2017, Sarah published the Australian Surrogacy Handbook to assist people to understand the surrogacy laws in Australia. She will have just given birth to a surrogate baby in February 2018
Ben (33) and his partner Terry (34) live in Brisbane, Queensland and have been together nearly 6 years. Their daughter Ivy was born on 3 January 2018 in Geelong, Victoria via an altruistic surrogate after 3 years of planning. Ben and Terry looked at many different options, including commercial surrogacy, before deciding to pursue altruistic surrogacy in Australia. While the process wasn’t without its hiccups, it was all worth it the moment they finally got to meet their daughter and see their dream of a family become a reality.
Michael is 30 and a father of one, step father of three. He lives in Tinonee on the mid north coast with his partner Cass, who has recently given birth as a gestational surrogate for a Sydney gay couple. Michael will discuss his role in this most intimate of arrangements
Adam and his husband David are from Sydney and have been together for 22 years. A Sydney girlfriend offered to be their surrogate and they began a journey which would change their lives permanently. Their daughter Maya was born in November 2013 with the help of IVF Australia. They wouldn’t change the love, smiles, snuggles and nappies for anything. They are currently looking to match with a surrogate again to help create a sibling for Maya
Shannon Garner is a mother of two living in New South Wales. She always knew she wanted to give the gift of surrogacy and set about to find a couple to help. Shannon found a same sex NSW couple and started the process of surrogacy so they could realize their dream of becoming fathers. She gave birth to their daughter in November 2014 and in 2017 gave birth to a sibling for the same couple to complete their family. Shannon has been interviewed extensively in the media, including a podcast with Mia Freedman. Shannon’s book ‘Labour of Love’ details her extraordinary journey
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
Anna is a school teacher and is closely involved in admining the Australian surrogate facebook group. Anna surveyed 150 members of this online surrogate support group. Every past, current & potential altruistic surrogate responded, shedding light on just how domestic surrogacy is evolving. Anna is currently looking to match with a South Australian couple
Amanda lost her second son in 2014 when her uterus ruptured at 36 weeks due to an undiagnosed condition of placenta increta, requiring an emergency hysterectomy. She and her husband travelled to the USA and were matched with a surrogate, but their IVF cycle didn’t produce any viable embryos to transfer. In 2015 they started IVF cycles here in Australia. A close friend offered to be their surrogate and after 10 IVF stimulation cycles and six embryo transfers they had a baby girl in September 2017.
Shavone is a 28 year old Adelaide mother of two young children and whilst she had no trouble conceiving or carrying, by being involved in parenting forums had her eyes opened up to other’s infertility struggles and wished she could help somehow. Joining the Australian Surrogacy Community in 2015 she met with a Sydney-based single intended mother Julie through the community and made an offer to carry for her in January 2016. After the requisite counselling and four embryo transfers Shavone fell pregnant and gave birth in March 2018.
Steve & Jen live in Canberra. After a long history with severe endometriosis Jen had her ovaries removed and some eggs frozen. After a failed IVF cycle using the frozen eggs Jen had a total hysterectomy. Steve and Jen then needed help from an egg donor and a surrogate. With special help from an egg donor from NSW and a surrogate in VIC, they now have a beautiful daughter Holly. With a few good embryos left they hope to start a sibling journey one day.
Amanda is a 30 year old mum to four kids of her own and lives in South-east Melbourne. She used her own eggs in a traditional surrogacy arrangement for a same sex Victorian couple and gave birth very recently in March this year. She will talk about the experience and the headspace involved in traditional surrogacy as well as post birth emotions.
Rachel & Craig Mustoe met in 2011 and were engaged in 2014. They decided that surrogacy was their best option due to medical issues Rachel experienced at age 30. After extensive research and attendance at both Melbourne and Brisbane FTS conferences in 2016 they met a lovely group from CFC and Create IVF. They signed up and the journey was just magical after that. Within 15 months their 4 precious embryos were flown over and on their last try they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy Logan born in London, Ontario on 30th January, 2018.
Andy and his partner, Sam, began their surrogacy journey in 2013, beginning the process with a Thai agency and clinic. Two failed split cycles later with no embryos suitable for freezing and none making the first transfer, they began the whole process again in Australia, this time using Andy’s sister’s eggs and Sam’s sperm. Unlucky in Australia, they received an offer to carry from a friend, Jenn, in Canada Andy had met years earlier on an online forum. Jenn had carried twins for a Canadian couple and was considering doing it again. Successful on the first transfer, Orlando was born in May 2017
Sydney-based, Kev and Karl have two fur-babies Winston-Bear and Tonka-Truck but realised a big hole was missing and took the surrogacy plunge early 2017. They met a beautiful donor who made a profound impact on their lives helping them create 4 embryos. Their previous surrogate was an angel, young, but with heaps of life experiences and two gorgeous kids. Long story short, she’s still carrying the battle scars from her upbringing and had to withdraw. No regrets and no ill-feelings, but the boys are really excited about the future and realising their dream to be parents.
John & his partner are an Australian couple and have begun a singleton journey utilising NorthWest Surrogacy and ORM in Portland Oregon, USA. They have already travelled to Portland and met with their ‘team’ and a genetic counsellor. They have recently chosen an egg donor and are awaiting her medical assessment.
Costa is a teacher and his partner Gaith is a medical lecturer – they love children and families and this has has been a special glue that binds them close. They attended the FTS Conference in Melbourne last year and engaged in Canadian surrogacy. They have a strong and rewarding relationship with their surrogate, and embryos about to be transferred. They are both happy and confronted – all the time.