Steven is Chair of the ART Committee of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is one of the foremost fertility lawyers globally. He serves on the national advisory committee of RESOLVE: The National Fertility Association, is chair of the legal advisory group for the American Fertility Association and is a professional member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Mr. Snyder is a frequent national and international speaker on assisted reproductive technology topics and from 2009-2010 was an adjunct professor of assisted reproductive technology law at the Hamline University Law School.
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, Asia 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 of egg donation and surrogacy around the globe. He has seen the best and worst that surrogacy can deliver. He continues to promote best practice through conferences, one-on-one consultation and online resources. He runs a healthcare research consultancy and is the author of three books and is a non-executive director of the charity Surrogacy Australia.
Craig Reisser is a parent through egg donor surrogacy in the USA. He and his partner Massimo have two boys (4 years and 2 yrs). Their two journeys have taken them to both US coasts and they have personally experienced many of the different options that intended parents are faced with deciding between: fresh vs. frozen transfers; transferring 1 vs. 2 embryos; with or without PGS; working with a first time vs. experienced egg donor and/or surrogates; working with a surrogate with vs. without her own health insurance. Before becoming a dad Craig was an international investment banker for nearly 20 years. He now leads Oregon Reproductive Medicine’s international programs, and Craig helps intended parents understand their various options when it comes to egg donor surrogacy so that they can make the informed decisions that are right for them.
As a founding partner of Southern California Reproductive Center, Dr. Ghadir is double board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. A very popular, approachable and well-liked fertility specialist, Dr. Ghadir’s expertise has been featured nationally and internationally in the Los Angeles Times, Redbook, People Magazine, Beverly Hills Weekly, Antelope Valley Press, Fox News, ABC, BBC, Telemundo, Univision, The Bump and Marie Claire Russia, among many other media. He has not only been listed among Los Angeles Magazine’s “2014 Super Doctors,” but also named “Altruist of the Year” by Datebook Los Angeles. In addition to appearances on several television shows, his expertise is sought after among the LGBT media as well, including The Fight, The Mirror, Frontiers LA, The Bay Area Reporter, South Florida Gay News and 429 Magazine, among many others. More than his strong work ethic, Dr. Ghadir has built a reputation as a compassionate, responsive and hand-holding physician. A strong believer in preparing for the future, he is committed to helping patients retain their future fertility options – whether it is egg freezing, embryo freezing, or even when preparing for medical treatments that can affect reproduction, such as chemotherapy.
Kate Pippia is the Director of Identilab, a Brisbane-based laboratory specialising in DNA testing for parentage and kinship. Kate has 14 years experience as a human identification specialist, including 9 years as a forensic DNA analyst. She and her team are highly experienced in providing evidence of claimed family relationships, both locally and abroad. Kate has a special interest in surrogacy cases and understands the emotions experienced by intended parents, having been on that journey herself. Identilab is proud to be the preferred provider of DNA testing for Families Through Surrogacy and considers it a privilege to be able to assist with this part of the process.
Director, Mediterranean Fertility Institute, Greece
Dr Ioannis Giakoumakis
Director, Mediterranean Fertility Institute, Greece
An obstetrician – gynecologist for more than 30 years, Dr Giakoumakis studied at the University of Athens and specialized in Ob / Gyn. He worked as a visiting doctor in the HolweideKrankenhaus Koln and in Chania. He speaks English, Italian, German and French. In 1992, he created the Mediterranean Fertility Institute in which he is clinical Director. The Institute has high-tech equipment and a scientific team that has been specializing in infertility treatment and prevention of genetic diseases. It is one of the few fertility centers with the potential to manage all aspects of infertility including surrogacy. Along with his involvement with Medicine, Dr Giakoumakis attends several conferences each year, mostly as a lecturer.
As follow up manager at New Life Georgia, Sophie deals directly with all intended parents with confidentiality and dedication, manages and coordinates their inquiries, provides support to ensure patients satisfaction, answers to all initial questions in details, introduces available program, and makes negotiations for final agreements.
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.
Sarah has practised solely in family law since the commencement of her career nearly 20 years ago, and has been an Accredited Specialist in Family Law through the Law Society of NSW since 2005. She also is an accredited arbitrator, regular presenter of ongoing legal education papers on family law to the legal profession and is on the panel of lawyers appointed to act as the Independent Child’s Lawyer in proceedings under the Family Law Act. Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers are experts in surrogacy, having assisted many Australian and international intended parents and surrogates. Sarah led the team responsible for the landmark NSW decision for the first same-sex couple to be registered as parents on their child’s birth certificate, after that child was born through a surrogacy arrangement.
Lefteris is a psychologist with extensive experience in the areas of grief and bereavement. He has worked with clients with a variety of mental health and fertility issues, as well as court-ordered parents and their children. Lefteris is also a lecturer of postgraduate counselling and psychology subjects at Monash University. He is an experienced researcher and presenter with particular interest in understanding the bereavement of intimate partners, its impact on romantic relationships, disenfranchised grief, and issues related to surrogacy and diverse genders, sexes, and sexualities.
Kate has worked as an infertility counsellor for twenty years and is the chair of the ANZ Infertility Counsellors Association. Senior Community Education Officer at the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, Kate has a keen interest in helping parents through surrogacy feel comfortable sharing their stories with their children. She runs an annual ‘Time to Tell’ seminar in Melbourne and has written’ Sometimes it Takes Three to Make a Baby’ explaining egg donation to children.
Sarah Jefford is a family and surrogacy lawyer, practising across Australia. She is an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, delivering a baby for two dads in 2018. Sarah publishes The Australian Surrogacy Handbook and produces The Australian Surrogacy Podcast.
Stacie is a parent with her husband to three children. Having completed building her own family, she decided to help others that needed the assistance of a gestational surrogate to become parents. She proceeded to help two couples become parents by being their gestational surrogate. Her first set of intended parents were a heterosexual couple for whom she carried twins. Her second set of intended parents were a same-sex male couple for whom she carried a singleton. She now works with Oregon Reproductive Medicine sharing her experiences as a gestational surrogate and what this meant for her and her family; advising intended parents on some of the key elements of a successful surrogacy journey and how to build a trusted relationship with their gestational surrogate; and answering the numerous questions and addressing the common fears that many intended parents have when getting started on their own surrogacy journey.
Evie Kendal is a bioethicist who joined the Faculty of Health in the Deakin School of Medicine in 2018. She currently teaches into the Ethics, Law, and Professionalism stream of the medical program and the Master of Business (Healthcare management). Evie’s research interests include emerging reproductive biotechnologies, transplant ethics, public health, aerospace medicine, and medical education. Evie is a co-editor and major contributor to Teaching Medicine and Medical Ethics Using Popular Culture (Palgrave, 2017), which addresses the impact of television and social media on health knowledge. Her co-authored article on uterine transplants with Dr Julian J. Koplin, is forthcoming in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
Felicity’s autoimmune condition was always destined to make pregnancy difficult for her. She and her husband had 9 IVF transfers, 4 miscarriages and the stillbirth of their daughter in Australia before investigating surrogacy. Her son Jackson was born in Oklahoma in June 2017 after their first transfer in the US.
Hilary & her husband have a 12 year old boy that Hillary birthed naturally. Nine years ago at the age of 27,with a two year old son, Hillary she was diagnosed with cervical cancer that spread. After a hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation carrying another child was out of the question. The couple attempted surrogacy in Nepal, but attempts with their last remaining embryos were unsuccessful. Finally, Hillary’s cousin offered to donate her eggs and they signed with a Canadian agency in Feb 2016 who matched them with a surrogate in Edmonton Alberta within four weeks. A successful transfer occured in Feb 2017 and little Leo was born in November 2017.
Clarissa and her husband Nick live in Tasmania. They started researching surrogacy in mid 2015 and were one of the first Australian couples to engage in Greece’s altruistic surrogacy program since it opened to foreigners in 2014. After experiencing seven miscarriages and trying IVF, donor egg and other natural therapies, they were not ready to give up on having children and becoming parents. They worked with Mediterranean Fertility Institute in Crete and welcomed twins Arlo and Zoe on 5 May 2017. “It wasn’t just luck in the end, it was our persistence that paid off”
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 ans they returned to Australia early 2019.
Kim & Glenn, started trying to conceive in 2011. After 6 months they were diagnosed with unexplained infertility . Their journey has involved a minor stroke due to an IVF drug reaction, cycling with Kim’s eggs, donor eggs in Greece & donor embryos in Australia before progressing to Egg Donation & surrogacy in Ukraine. The Ukraine process took two years before Brooke arrived in February 2019.
In 1988, Alice Clarke’s birth made her Australia’s first IVF surrogate kid. Conceived using donor sperm and her mum’s egg and then implanted into her aunt Linda’s womb. . Since then she has enjoyed being only child of older parents who thought they couldn’t have children. Alice is a freelance journalist, a lesbian and is currently using IVF and donor sperm to create a family of her own. Like many, Alice’s recent experience with the Australian IVF sector has been strained.
Morgan is 21 years old and lives in Melbourne. She appeared on ABC’s 7.30 report in 2015 to talk about her life. While Morgan is an only child at home, she has four half brothers and a half sister in Riverside Los Angeles. Born in the US herself with the help of Center for Surrogate Parenting, Morgan has known about her birth from the moment she could ask about it.
Clint is a single gay dad who has experienced one surrogacy journey with the help of Agency for Surrogacy Solutions in California, Egg Donor Inc and Dr Robert Boostanfar. He commenced a second journey in November 2018 with a new surrogate. Clint did PGD testing of embryos before implantation. A successful transfer was made in January however the embryo failed to thrive and was terminated. A second embryo in April this year is at the 12 week mark. He will talk about his experience of the US model, surviving tragedy and surrogacy as a single parent
Rocco, Allan and their daughter Willow completed their surrogacy journey in Nairobi Kenya, 2018. Their journey encapsulated various barriers and joys, spanning multiple countries and agencies. Furthermore their journey encountered various tasks required by the Australian Government to support their daughter gaining citizenship by descent and Australian passport. In Nairobi they experienced a considerable stay in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which provided unexpected challenges in their journey.
Ethan was born in January 2007 in a small town in Ohio, USA to his parents Rodney and Jeff Chiang-Cruise. His surrogate who he refers to as Aunty Kelly gave birth to Ethan with both his dads and her husband present. Ethan returned to Australia 2 weeks later with his dads. He is a Eurasian child with family in Taiwan, Australia and now Ohio. He has grown up with an ongoing and close relationship with his surrogate (Kelly) and her family. He is currently in year 7 and has another boy with male same-sex parents (via surrogacy) in his class. He finds talking about his origin story boring to him – because it is just his life and has always been. His parents are happy that he is at that place.
Gabby Goldberg and her partner Harris welcomed a daughter via surrogacy in the USA in Dec 2016 using a surrogacy agency in Minnesota and a Fertility clinic in Nevada. After 2 failed attempts (one non-starter and one failed medical exam) to find a donor through donor agencies they enlisted the help of Donor Concierge who found the egg donor they ultimately used.
After a ten year IVF journey, involving 21 embryo transfers and one egg donor, Trevor and his wife thought having children was out of the question. That was until they discovered overseas surrogacy. After many months of due diligence they entrusted Lotus Surrogacy to achieve their parenting goal. Trevor is now a proud dad to gorgeous twin girls, Bayli and Kendal, who were born in February 2017. As a result, Trevor became a parent pioneer for surrogacy in the Ukraine and is well acquainted with the Australian and Ukrainian government processes.
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
Jonathan and his partner have a baby boy, Raf, born in February 2019 through surrogacy in the USA. They worked with ORM Fertility and North Western Surrogacy Centre which are both based in Portland, Oregon. Their surrogate lives outside Denver, Colorado. Jonathan will discuss their journey.