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National Donor Surrogacy Conference

20 June International

Sunday 20 June 2021

9.10am – 4.45pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Sydney Time)

Hilton Hotel, 190 Elizabeth St, Brisbane City QLD

The Growing Families National Surrogacy and Donor Conference is a chance for intended parents to meet parents via international surrogacy, global egg donors, surrogates, and experts from Australia and around the world. 

There will be 37 talks and sessions, over 42 speakers and more than 7 countries represented at the Conference.   

Sessions on the Sunday will include talks from International Surrogates, a Panel of Parents via International Surrogacy and Global Experts.  Hear about how you can create your family during Covid restrictions.  

There will be a Drinks Function on the Saturday afternoon followed by a Community Dinner.  

Tickets include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea at the Hilton Brisbane.  There will be a Drinks Function on the Saturday afternoon followed by a Community Dinner.  

Tickets also include a consultation with a Surrogate or the Expert of your choice. 

Register Here


Much has changed in just a year. An overview of current options globally; differences in eligibility, legal restrictions, risks, costs, , exit processes and parental status. Summarises key barriers and how they are being overcome – everything from embryo creation, shipping, paperwork, logistics and safety to travel and vaccinations

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

How do birth rates differ based on age of the egg provider? What sort of risks do you need to consider? What factors impact success? How important is PGD testing of embryos?

Dr Said Daneshmand, San Diego Fertility Center, California

What surrogate pre-screening is done in the US context? How does this differ between agencies? What type of services and support do they provide to intended parents and surrogates? What is an Escrow account and why are they used? What is the likelihood of having to re-match with another surrogate? Learn from one of the US oldest surrogacy agencies what you should expect.

Center for Surrogate Parenting, California

Canada, like Australia, has an altruistic model for both donors and surrogates. And yet they have been far more successful than Australia has in recruiting and supporting a strong community of surrogates. Leading Canadian surrogacy lawyer Cindy Wasser discusses how the Canadian legal process supports all parties, differences between provinces and what other countries can learn from the Canadian model

Cindy Wasser, Hope Springs Fertility Law

Leia Swanberg founded the largest community of altruistic surrogates in Canada (and the world). How are altruistic surrogates recruited, screened and supported in the Canadian context? What can Australia learn from this success story? How has the Canadian system coped with the ravages of Covid?

Leia Swanberg, Canadian Fertility Consulting

Wherever you engage in surrogacy, there are risks of low numbers of eggs retrieved, poor embryo quality, failed transfers, early or late miscarriage, preterm delivery and birth complications. Understanding these risks and how they can be minimised and overcome is essential.

Brittany Collins, Pacific Fertility, USA

Are there less surrogates available? Are wait times for matching longer? Are surrogates being vaccinated? Does this pose any risk to the unborn child? Where surrogates need to travel to another city or state for embryo transfer, is this an issue?  What if my surrogate contracts Covid? Is there an impact on insurance costs?

Kristen Hansen, Simple Surrogacy, Texas

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

Panellists: Sophie Parkinson (used Ukraine) Stephen Glover (gay dad via US); Kat Patterson-Gray (lesbian mum via US) Lee & Michael Caretta (parents via Canada) 


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? Can I access parenting orders? Surrogacy in Unregulated environments,

Sarah Bevan, Sarah Bevan lawyers

With the closure of Georgia to surrogacy and mounting unrest in Ukraine, increasing numbers of Australians are choosing to engage in surrogacy in Greece. While the country does not allow surrogacy agencies, a handful of experienced IVF clinics take on this role. Michael Bass runs the Greece Surrogacy facebook group and has recently had a child with the help of Mediterranean Fertility Institute in Crete. here he explains the legal process, costs, and availability of donors in the Greek system.

Michael Bass,  (sponsored by) Mediterranean Fertility Institute, Crete

Many Australians are choosing the ship their precious embryos from Australia to offshore IVF clinics, particularly if they cat locate a local surrogate. The paperwork requirements for this can be complex and clinics vary in their requirements.  PakAir & Embryosafe have managed shipping for dozens of Australians in recent months. Learn about sperm and embryo export and import requirements for countries like Australia the US, Colombia and Ukraine, as well as the pros and cons of sensitive freight vs hand carry couriers.

Moderator: Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Panelists: Rodney Oldham, General Manager, PakAir, Pam Matthews, Embryosafe CryoTransport, 

Hundreds of Australians have engaged in Ukraine surrogacy successfully and the number of agency and clinic options has exploded in recent years. Not being able to travel for embryo creation or sperm deposit adds extra hurdles. If you are a married, heterosexual couple, you may be eligible for Ukraine if you meet their strict medical guidelines. Understand the regulations, the impact of Covid-19 on surrogate supply and demand, ‘packages’ offered, how to communicate with surrogates who might only speak Ukrainian and most importantly, how to select reliable surrogacy providers. Anna Lisnichenko,  Perfect Surrogacy

There is a long history of Australians engaging in developing countries without specific laws around surrogacy. These once included India, Thailand and Nepal. Since the closure of these, new destinations have emerged such as Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Cyprus, catering to gay couples and singles. What track-record do these unregulated destinations have? What are the risks? What are the benefits? How are surrogates screened and cared for? How much are they compensated? 

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Travelling Donors have been providing egg donors to intended parents for many years. Donors may come from South Africa, Ukraine, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand & Taiwan. In the Covid-19 landscape, with Australians unable to travel,  the logistics of egg donation has become complicated. Increasingly singles and couples are shipping sperm to countries where egg-donor IVF is available. In some cases they ship the embryos back to Australia. In others, embryo transfer occurs offshore. Genevieve Uys explains the current programs on offer.

Genevieve Uys, Travelling Donors

Moderator: Karen Mills

Panelist: Morgan Rennie, Tamzin Mclean


For those engaging overseas inn countries such as Ukraine or Colombia,  DNA testing may be required to access citizenship by descent. A brisbane-based DNA testing expert explains how the process works and uses case studies to illustrate the pitfalls and how to forward plan.

Kate Clark, Identilab, Brisbane

Given quotas on incoming passengers and restricted air routes, costs of international travel are far higher than they used to be, particularly for those returning to Australia. Growing Families have put in place agreements with select airlines and travel agents to ensure travel can be arranged, whether for International donor-IVF or for surrogacy births, taking much of the stress away. This session covers the availability of different fare types, typical costs, forecasts regarding Australian city quotas, when to book and how to add infants to your booing post birth

Craig Fyfe, Your Travel Expert, Brisbane

For those engaging in overseas surrogacy,  accessing citizenship by descent and a passport are important considerations. But what passport is your newborn eligible for? How does this differ by country? What are the time frames required? Two experts who have assisted hundreds of Australians explains how the process works and what you can do to ensure your time away from home is minimised

Moderator: Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Panelists: Roman Deana, Far & Wide Migration, Poonam Jain, Poonam Surrogacy

Are you looking for a free 15 min Consultation with the surrogacy expert? Contact Ankita Agarwal at [email protected]

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