• 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

9.00am Victoria University Convention Centre, L12, 300 Flinders St Melbourne

This unmissable two day conference includes fifty speakers and panellists and features an in-depth look at Australian and international surrogacy with talks from doctors, lawyers & psychologists, as well as surrogates, young adults via surrogacy, egg donors and twenty parents

Icon Melbourne, Australia International Surrogacy & Egg Donor Conference 1st June 2019
Timing Description


Surrogacy 101 – Understanding the Current Landscape

An overview of surrogacy options globally, including where surrogacy is legal, illegal and unregulated; Summarises by country differences in eligibility, legal restrictions, risks, costs, who goes on birth certificate, exit processes and parental status.

Sam Everingham, Families Through Surrogacy

Success Rates, Risks and Guarantees

Do IVF clinics  publish audited success rates? How does this differ by country? What success rate measures should you look at? What sort of risks do you need to consider? Some agencies and clinics offer ‘guarantee packages. What are they guaranteeing and are they worth the extra dollars? Craig Reisser  takes us beyond the marketing to the reality of IVF

Craig Reisser, ORM Fertility, USA

KEYNOTE: Increasing Your Chances of a Successful Journey

One of the globe’s foremost fertility lawyers, Steve Snyder has advised intended parents from dozens of countries. Here he provides advice on factors to consider in planning a successful journey

Steve Snyder, past Chair, ART Committee, American Bar Association’s Family Law Section,

Crucial IVF & Egg Donor Considerations 

One of California’s leading reproductive endocrinologists explains the key considerations to ensure you have the best chances, discusses self-cycling protocols, egg donor choices and the importance of semen analysis in preparing for donor-egg IVF and surrogacy

Dr Shahin Ghadir, Southern California Reproductive Center, USA


Legal Considerations for Australians Considering Cross-Border Surrogacy

Do I need to engage an Australian lawyer? How do laws differ by state in regard to offshore surrogacy? Am I the legal parent after engaging in surrogacy overseas? Uses cases studies to illustrate the legal considerations for those looking at cross-border surrogacy

Sarah Bevan & Alfonso Layson, Sarah Bevan lawyers


Parent 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 who used OS surrogacy and/or egg donation

Moderator: Sam Everingham

Panelists: Clint Priest (gay dad via US), Clarissa Foster (via Greece), Rebecca Newson (via Ukraine), Jonathan Wilkinson (via USA)

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. This session discusses what you can do.

Lefteris Patlamazoglou, Psychologist, Monash University

Creating an Honest Parent Profile

In Canadian and US surrogacy in particular, surrogates want to be sure they are matching with intended parents they will get on with. Being open and honest in the profile you submit is a key to successful journeys.

Felicity Kennedy, parent via US


The Practicalities of Ukraine Surrogacy

Scores of Australians engage in Ukraine surrogacy every year, but with a six week exit time post birth, dealing with the practicalities of raising newborns in a foreign city is a key consideration. Where can you buy supermarket items, baby equipment, bassinets, formula. Where to find good baby-sitters and nurses; How to connect with other parents in Kiev when you are; passing on items to others; Dealing with pharmacies, immunisations and medical check-ups

Yannir Goldsmid (Lotus) Kim Hindmarsh, Rebecca Newson (parents via Ukraine)

Ethical Responsibilities In Surrogacy

Some critics believe no woman should be allowed to carry as a surrogate; others believe women should be given the choice. What are the ethical concerns about surrogacy?  You need to be comfortable with what you are asking of your surrogate and what is in her contract. To control risk, surrogacy contracts & agreements may specify where your surrogate can travel; termination choices; where the treatment will occur; what she can eat and so on. This panel includes the views of an ethicist, altruistic and compensated surrogates in an area which can be overlooked by commissioning parents focussed only on the end-game.

Surrogacy in Georgia

Georgia has been providing legal parenthood to heterosexual couples accessing surrogacy since 1997, but few engaged there until the closure of South-east Asia a few years ago. Since then, the quality of IVF facilities has improved and increasing numbers are discovering this option.  Sophie Ukleba travels from Tbilisi to explain the cultural, medical and logistic features of Georgian surrogacy and egg donation

Sophie Ukleba, New Life Georgia

Moderator: Kate Bourne, ANZCIA

Panelists: Evie Kendal, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Sarah Jefford, Australian surrogate & lawyer, Stacie Ludlow, US surrogate

Altruistic Surrogacy in Greece

What can countries like Australia learn from the Greek surrogacy model, which similarly does not utiltise surrogacy agencies, but provides a court-mandated transfer of parentage before the first embryo transfer. What is the experience of Australians who have used Greece?

Dr Ioannis Giakoumakis, Mediterranean Fertility Institute, Greece, Clarissa Forster (parent via Greece)

DNA testing & Citizenship Processes

For those engaging in overseas surrogacy , unless you have a US court order, DNA testing may be mandatory to access citizenship by descent. An Australian expert explains how the process works and what you can do to ensure your time away from home is minimised

Kate Pippia, Identilab

Disclosure – Young Adults via OS Surrogacy & Egg Donation Speak Up
Young adults discuss their sense of self as donor conceived and/or knowing that a surrogate had a key part to play in their creation. You will hear from adults raised by heterosexual as well as gay couples

Moderator: Kate Bourne,

Panellists: Alice Clarke (24 yrs) Matt Mills (21 yrs), Ethan Chiang-Cruise (12 yrs), Morgan Rennie (21 yrs)


Creating Your Own Storybook

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

Kate Bourne, VARTA

Break out Sessions with parent who used Surrogacy & experts in

a) USA: Gabby Goldberg; Clint Priest; Jonathan Wilkinson; Felicity Kennedy, Craig Reisser, Lauri De Brito

b) Canada: Hillary Mitchell

c) Ukraine Dana Magdassi, Yannir Goldsmid, Rebecca Newson; Kim Hindmarsh; Trevor Dando

d) Greece: Shirley Voshol, Ioannis Giakoumakis Clarissa Forster: Georgia: Sophie Ukleba

Surrogacy in Un-regulated destinations – Is it worth it?

Australians have been significant users of surrogacy in unregulated destinations, which currently include Kenya and Mexico. Exit times can blow out, levels of care can be shaky, laws can change. Two recent dads provide insight into the pros & cons of ‘outside-the-box’ surrogacy

Moderator: Sam Everingham Panelists: Rocco Luppino (dad via Kenya) Simon Romeo (dad via Mexico)

Conference Drinks & Networking