• 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

Conference passes available from $90

Victoria University Convention Centre, L12, 300 Flinders St, Melbourne

This two day annual event is designed to educate & inform intended parents, surrogates and professionals to assist with decisions and expectations regarding surrogacy options and outcomes in Australia, the US, Canada, Ukraine & Greece.

Speakers & panelists include parents via surrogacy, surrogates, older children via surrogacy, leading researchers, counsellors, IVF professionals & lawyers. Tickets include admission  to Friday and Saturday night social events.

IconAustralian Intended Parent Conference Saturday 3rd June 2017
Timing Description


Surrogacy 101 – Understanding the Current Landscape

Covers terminology; recent changes in where surrogacy is legal, illegal and undefined; Overview of costs, eligibility & processes by country, exit processes and timeframes, Differences by country in who goes on the birth certificate and parental status.

Sam Everingham, Families Through Surrogacy

 Surrogacy  – a 360 Degree Perspective 

Not sure if you could build a relationship with a surrogate and her partner here in Australia? Hear from a surrogate; her partner, and their intended parent couple as they discuss how they found each other, navigated interpersonal relationships and  worked through tensions to create a child.

Surrogate screening practices

Compares screening processes globally. How important is it? and why do these differ? Which countries use psychological testing instruments? How standardised are these? What proportion of potential surrogates who apply are accepted? Why does this differ?


Understanding IVF Processes in Surrogacy – The Basics

Dr John Hesla, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, USA

Not Just a Pretty Face – Choosing Egg Donors

Discusses what egg donor characteristics best predict success in regards to third party reproduction; how do US IVF clinics screen and manage donors; what medical considerations are relevant; issues in relation to bringing your own donor

Dr Bruce Shapiro, Fertility Center of Las Vegas, USA

Men in the middle

Australian men 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

Legal Issues & Eligibility When Engaging In Surrogacy

What legal protection do intended parents & surrogates have in various countries? Looks at the differences in US states, Canada, Ukraine, Australia & elsewhere. Is protection in overseas markets extended to Australians? What legal services are required in different places?


US Surrogacy Agencies

What is their role? What can you expect from them? What sort of screening and support of surrogates is provided? What are the differences between US states in their approach?

Finding an Egg Donor in Australia

Donors and Recipients discuss how to find a local donor and takes us on a journey through community-run Australian donor forums. How they work, what to look for, and how to navigate the maze

Moderator: tbc

Panelists: Joanne Bubrick, CSP (California) Carrie Flamer Powell All Families Surrogacy (Oregon); Megan Hall, Surro Connections (Oregon)



Coming to Terms with Infertility

The unvoiced grief about not being able to carry a child can be a heavy weight for women and their partners. This grief and anguish can seriously affect how you approach surrogacy and relationships with surrogates. Addressing that grief in productive ways can make all the difference between an easier and harder relationship with your surrogate. This session discusses the issue in detail and what you can do.

Attitudes and values of intended parents and surrogates

How beliefs, attitudes and values of all parties in altruistic surrogacy should match for smooth surrogacy arrangements. Based on a study of 120 surrogacy cases

Miranda Montrone


Australian Surrogacy Agreements

Covers the importance of creating comprehensive surrogacy agreements between IPs and surrogates in the altruistic context and the elements you need to ensure are covered. Deals with key differences between Australian states

The Surrogate Perspective:

Rachel has carried children for four different Australian couples, both gay and heterosexual. Some of Rachel’s surrogacy journeys have been successful, others not.  Rachel has been a leader in the Australian surrogacy community for many years, supporting many other surrogates. She will share her experience of what can go right and what can go wrong and how to cope.

Rachel Kunde

Assessing Embryo Quality

Embryology is a medical speciality poorly understood by most patients. Understand the role of the embryologist; what makes some embryos stronger than others?; What is preimplantation genetic testing?   How can it improve embryo implantation rates? What can and cant it pick up? When to invest in it?

Dr Liz Butler, Life Fertility, Australia

Sacred Surrogacy

An intimate session for Australian surrogates, past & present, involving sharing, laughter, some intense emotion and sisterhood. This is designed to celebrate, respect & empower Australian surrogates and provide them with a framework & resources to support their journeys.

The Trouble With Twins – Embryo Transfer Decisions

Many intended parents want more than one child. Faced with high costs, many opt for multiple embryo transfer, thinking two for the price of one more financially affordable. US IVF expert and renowned physician John Norian discusses the implications of multiple transfer, the risks of complications, very pre-term delivery, medical cost and insurance implications.

Dr Ashim Kumar, Western Fertility, California

Leia Swanberg, Fertility Consultants, Canada


A chance to catch up with old friends and get to know new ones from Australia and around the globe

IconAustralian Intended Parent Conference Sunday 4th June 2017
Timing Description

Budgeting & Project Management

Keynote: Elements of a Successful Journey

Dr Kim Bergman, Growing Generations

Hybrid Programs

Australians are already engaging in US/Canada, Mexico/US and Laos/Thailand programs. Our panel discusses the motivations, pros and cons of these multi-country programs.

‘Money-Back Guarantee’ IVF programs

When using a pre-approved egg donor, a number of IVF clinics offer higher priced  ‘multi-transfer’ packages which provide a money-back guarantee if transfers do not result in a successful pregnancy. How do these programs work? Are they worth the additional cost? Can you bring your own egg donor and still be eligible for such a program?



Parent Panel – Surrogacy Journeys

In-depth discussion & Q&A with parents detailing what to expect – processes, costs, potential risks, what can go wrong and how to survive the unexpected hurdles with parents via US, Australia, Laos/Thailand, Ukraine, Canada


Paul Van Deuren (Thailand), Kelly Besim (US), tbc  (Canada) tbc (Ukraine)

Australians Experiences of Surrogacy

Preliminary results of a major government funded research project

Jenni Millbank, University of Technology


Time to Tell – How Do Kids Through Surrogacy Deal with it?

Teenagers and young adults talk born via Australian or international surrogacy talk about disclosure, egg donors, and their relationships with the surrogates who carried them

Matt Mills, Alice Clarke (tbc)

Surrogate Session: 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.


Traditional Surrogacy

In NZ & the UK, in well over half of domestic arrangements the surrogate provides not only her womb but her eggs. In Australia this is less common. NZ academic Hannah Gibson presents highlights from her research on motivations & outcomes of traditional surrogacy in the NZ context.

Hannah Gibson

Sacred Surrogacy

An intimate session for Australian surrogates, past & present, involving sharing, laughter, some intense emotion and sisterhood. This is designed to celebrate, respect & empower Australian surrogates and provide them with a framework & resources to support their journeys.

The  Counselling Process

Relationships between surrogate, her partner and the intended parent are a key to success. Building relationships; what counselling should cover; what the counsellor is looking for, what IPs expect,; preparing yourself; potential impact on family members; Potential red flags – Why aren’t more raised in Australian cases? Post surrogacy issues


Panelists: Miranda Montrone, Katrina Hale, tbc