• 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, agency staff, IVF professionals & lawyers.

Tickets provide entry to all sessions, delegate satchel, morning and afternoon tea, Saturday and Sunday lunch and complimentary drinks functions on Friday and Saturday evening.

IconAustralian Intended Parent Conference Saturday 3rd June 2017
Conference
Timing Description

WELCOME ADDRESS

Stephen Conroy, former Labor minister and father through surrogacy

Surrogacy 101 – Understanding the Current Landscape

An overview of surrogacy options in the US, Canada, Ukraine, Greece and Australia, including where surrogacy is legal, illegal and undefined; Summarises by country differences in eligibility, legal restrictions, risks, costs, who goes on birth certificate, exit processes timeframes, and parental status.

Sam Everingham, Families Through Surrogacy

What has 37 years of Surrogacy Experience Taught us About Best Practice?

In a world where many countries are struggling with the demand for surrogacy, what can the long-standing Californian model teach us about ideal surrogacy practice? Covers psychological screening and matching of surrogates, expenses management, legal surrogate care and mental well-being.

Andy Vorzimer, Vorzimer Masserman & Joanne Bubrick, Center for Surrogate Parenting

Understanding IVF Processes in Surrogacy – The Basics

Dr Tom Fisher, Oregon Reproductive Medicine

MORNING TEA & NETWORKING

Finding & Engaging With Australian Surrogates

Meeting potential Australian surrogates and donors online is increasingly common. Some forums are Australian based, some international. Rules about contact vary. However you need to understand the dos and donts of surrogate engagement

Renee Golland

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

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?

Moderator: Katrina Hale

Panelists: Joanne Bubrick USA; Dana Magdassi, Ukraine; Shirley Voshol, Greece

Surrogate Only Session (Prayer room)

Australian surrogates Rachel Kunde & Hayley Christidis host a special support and sharing session for Aussie surrogates and those considering becoming surrogates

Legal Issues & Eligibility When Engaging In Surrogacy

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

Moderator: Monica Blizzard

Panelists: Robin Pope Oregon; Andy Vorzimer, California; Ben Sayer, Australia; Dana Magdassi, Ukraine;

Surrogate Only Session (Continued)

Rachel Kunde & Hayley Christidis

LUNCH & NETWORKING

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.

Lisa Banfield, Parent via OS surrogacy

Gay Guys and Surrogacy

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

Dr Bronwyn Devine

 

Understanding Embryo Quality

Embryology is a medical speciality poorly understood by most patients. IVF industry marketing assures patients that ‘healthy, normal’ embryos will be transferred  but what can and cant they guarantee? What makes some embryos stronger than others; What is pre-implantation genetic testing?   Can it improve embryo implantation rates? What can and cant it pick up? When to invest in it?

Dr Liz Butler, Life Fertility Australia

Finding an Egg Donor 

Donors and Recipients 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

 

 

Navigating Domestic Surrogacy

Who is eligible, what are the steps at the IVF clinic, what are the expected timings, what about costs and rebates?

Ruth Keat, Life Fertility, Brisbane

 

Moderator: Renee Golland

Carla Pincombe, Egg Donation Australia, Clinton Bryan-Mathieson (domestic); Gabby Goldberg (international)

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

Surrogate – IP relationships

How to ensuring your match and relationship is a healthy one and thrives

Megan Hall

Parent Support Services

The logistics of surrogacy can be daunting, particularly in a foreign country. This session explores the kind of support which intended parents appreciate from agencies, what can be provided and how it affects costs

Moderator: Gabby Goldberg

Carey Flamer-Powell (All Families Surrogacy Oregon), Nir Keren CReATe fertility center (Canada)

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,; preparing yourself; potential impact on family members; Potential red flags; resolving Disputes

Moderator:  Louise Johnson, VARTA

Panellists: Katrina Hale NSW, Rita Alesi VIC, Miranda Montrone, NSW Kim Nadler, Calif

Hybrid Programs

To control costs, avoid wait times or avoid legal issues, Australians are taking Aussie surrogates to the US, US surrogates to Cyprus and now there are US/India programs. Our panel discusses the pros and cons.

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Michael Colling, Tammuz Family, Lilly Frost, Expecting Surrogacy, Megan Hall Surro Connections

Men in the middle –

Australian men – gay & straight – discuss coping when your partner won’t give up; adjusting to your partner carrying for someone else; how they manage relationships, finances and your sanity

Moderator: Clinton Bryan-Mathieson

Panellists: David Sandberg, Alexi Christidis, Andy Brough, Simon Curtis

How to Minimise Risk in Cross Border Surrogacy

Experts discuss what can go wrong and how best to minimise these risks before you engage and on the journey, in regard to surrogacy programs where two countries are involved.

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Roy Rosenblatt-Nir, Tammuz, Ella McNamara, Fert Center of Las Vegas, Brad Spencer, SameLove Surrogacy

Social media in supporting your journey

Surrogacy is a lengthy process and requires emotional resilience. Support is a necessity, particularly in the face of changing laws and other hurdles so common to surrogacy. Online forums & apps can provide shared resources and camaraderie to break down the isolation and anxiety.  Parents through surrogacy in Asia & domestically talk about the importance of  online communities, flexibility and trust in surrogacy arrangements. Emma will also discuss her upcoming play Water Child, based on her infertility experiences prior to surrogacy.

Moderator: Ben Warner

Anthony Fisk, Dad via surrogacy, Emma Wood , Mum via domestic surrogacy

EVENING DRINKS FUNCTION  sponsored by La Jolla IVF, California

IconAustralian Intended Parent Conference Sunday 4th June 2017
Conference
Timing Description

Child Outcomes & Disclosure

It’s the elephant in the room – will using surrogacy f#ck up my child?  Should I tell them and if so when? These young adults born via surrogacy advise IPs on what the dos and donts are when raising surrogacy-formed families.

Moderator: Kim Nadler, Calif

Panel: Alice Clarke (29), Matt Mills (19), Morgan Rennie (20)

Keynote: Elements of a Successful Journey

Wherever you engage, ensuring that your expectations are aligned with those of your surrogate and, where relevant, egg donor, are vital. A psychologist with over two decades experience in screening and matching, Ms Bergman covers the types of issues that need to be key considerations to ensure a successful, stress-free journey

Dr Kim Bergman, Growing Generations

‘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?

John Norian, HRC Fertility

The Surrogate Perspective:

Rachel has carried children for three 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 

MORNING TEA & NETWORKING

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

Moderator: Sam Everingham

 Emma Wood (Aust)  Paul Van Deuren (Laos), Daniela Meffert  (Ukraine) Kelly Besim (US),  Chris Newton  (Canada)

Australians Experiences of International  Surrogacy

Based on in-depth interviews with dozens of Australians who have engaged in the US, Canada, Greece, Ukraine and South Africa for surrogacy and donor eggs, this session provides honest consumer feedback on their experiences. Part of a major government funded five-year research project

Dr Michaela Stockey-Bridge, University of Technology, Sydney

LUNCH & NETWORKING

Legal Processes In Surrogacy – Whats Worth Paying For?

For domestic surrogacy, how important are Surrogate & egg donor agreements; What should they include? And for offshore surrogacy, what do lawyers advise? Is applying for  post birth parental orders worthwhile? This session debates the pros & cons and how to avoid legal costs blowing out

Moderator: Karen Mills

Panelists: Sarah Jefford, Gaffney Law (VIC); Erin Steiner, Steiner Legal (NSW), Andy Vorzimmer (USA)

Attitudes and values of intended parents and surrogates

Matching the beliefs, attitudes and values of surrogates and IPS using surrogacy can make a far smoother journey. Based on her analysis of over 120 surrogacy cases, Miranda discusses what you should look for before commencing, an arrangement.

Miranda Montrone

Male Fertility Issues

Male-factor fertility issues are an under-acknowledged aspect of successful IVF. Advances in medical science also allow sperm-washing so HIV positive men can safely create embryos. Dr Toledo has particular expertise in the area and will discuss sperm testing techniques, common issues that can be diagnosed and techniques to overcome low sperm counts

Dr Manuela Toledo, Melbourne IVF

 

Surrogate Session: What to consider when thinking of carrying.

Factors which might exclude potential surrogates; What expectations should you have of IP’s? What support networks are available? How long should you invest in getting to know them? Likely emotions and how to deal with them. Setting expectations in regard to fair treatment

Moderator: Marian Sandberg

Renee Golland, Charmaine Staal, Hayley Christidis

Disclosure & Creating Your Own Storybook

Explaining donor conception and surrogacy to kids at the right age and right time is crucial. Louise Johnson discusses when and how to talk to your kids, how storybooks help and what to think about when creating one for your child(ren)

Louise Johnson, VARTA

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.

Moderator: Miranda Montrone

Panellists:, Hayley Christidis, Rachel Male, Bec Marshall