surrogate

/surrogate

So You Want to Be a Surrogate?

By |2019-01-18T19:59:50+00:00January 3rd, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, America, Blog, laws, surrogacy process, surrogate|

I remember when I first considered becoming a surrogate – searching everywhere for information and ending up down many an internet rabbit hole. I was excited and nervous; my husband was skeptical. How could we know if it was right for us, that we wouldn’t regret our decision, that our family and children would be ok at the end of it? And how could we find reliable information to help us make the decision? We tried accessing information and support from an IVF Clinic, who told us that they couldn’t help because we weren’t paying clients.

In the end, we made our decision to take the leap into surrogacy, without really knowing what we were getting ourselves into. And luckily, our relationship with our intended parents blossomed and withstood the challenges ahead – the counselling, the legal process, psychological assessments, and ethics approval. And then trying to become pregnant, and pregnancy, birth and beyond. We worked really hard at our relationship, but we also got lucky with each other.

Are you considering becoming a surrogate, for a friend, family member, or someone you hope to meet on the internet? It’s a daunting prospect; so much to consider and a lot of information to take in. Are you racing ahead, excited to get started and make someone’s dreams come true? (I know I was!). We have a saying in the surrogacy community – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, (take off those rose-coloured glasses!), absorb the information, ask lots of questions. And, get advice.

I want to promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements in Australia, and to do that I think everyone needs to be fully prepared before they jump in. So with that in mind, I’m providing free initial surrogacy consults to any woman (and her partner) who is considering becoming a surrogate. I’ll take you through the laws, the criteria, the processes…and add a dash of personal experience to help you on your way.

I’ll help you make informed decisions so you can build a surrogacy arrangement on a strong foundation. Because I want you to know if surrogacy is right for you before you take the leap. I want you to have a positive experience, and I’ll do what it takes to get you there.

To book a free consult, click the booking link below.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Book a FREE initial Surrogate consult

Click here to book!

The Sisterhood

By |2019-01-09T08:27:11+00:00December 20th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, sisterhood, surrogate|

Surrogacy is a unique and special journey, not just for the intended parents, but for the women privileged enough to carry a baby for someone else. It’s an unusual thing to do, and most people don’t understand why we would do it. Surrogates lean on each other, inevitably, because what we are doing is so unique that we need the support of other women who have done it themselves. My surrogacy experience has been richer and all the more amazing because of the friendships I have formed with other surrogates.

Several years ago, inspired by my surro-sisters, I created the Surrogacy Sisterhood Care Packages. I wanted to honour the women who had birthed their surro-bub, let them know that their sisters thought they were amazing and make them feel acknowledged, special and cared for during the crucial post-birth weeks and beyond. The packages are sent out in the weeks after a surrogate gives birth, as a celebration of her journey and the new family she has helped to create.

In 2018, together with fellow surrogate Carla, we ran a Surrogacy Sisterhood Day in Sydney, providing much-needed support, community and friendship for our surro-sisters. We are planning another Sisterhood Day in June 2019, but our capacity to provide a program for the surrogates is limited only by lack of funds. We provide our skills and support for free; funds are needed to pay for the venue hire, catering and gift bags for the attendees.

The Care Packages and the Sisterhood Day were originally funded by donations from other surrogates. After awhile, with over 20 surro-births in a year (sometimes 6 or 7 births in one month!), it became necessary to seek contributions from members of the Australian Surrogacy Community. If you are interested in contributing to the Care Packages and the Sisterhood Day, you can do so by clicking on the link below. Thank you! All contributions are very much appreciated.

Click here to donate

Are you considering becoming a surrogate?

Sarah offers FREE initial consults for women (and their partners) who are considering becoming surrogates. You can book at the link below.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Book a FREE initial Surrogate Advice Consult

Click here to book!

Gift Giving in Altruistic Surrogacy Arrangements

By |2018-12-29T01:19:27+00:00November 29th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, laws, surrogacy, surrogacy process, surrogate|

Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia. Altruistic surrogacy arrangements are legal – that’s where the surrogate receives no material benefit, reward, payment or inducement in exchange for carrying a baby for someone else.

One of the first questions asked by surrogates and intended parents, is whether the intended parents can give gifts to their surrogate, or her family members, without compromising the surrogacy agreement or the Parentage Order application.  And what sort of gifts might be ok, and what might be considered a reward or inducement? The answer is complex!

The legislation can be interpreted very broadly, such that even the gift of a massage voucher or a bunch of flowers could be seen as a material benefit or reward for the surrogate. So how do intended parents look after their surrogate, support her through any treatment and pregnancy, and show their appreciation without crossing over into illegal territory?

The laws are designed to prevent commercial arrangements, involving women who are inspired to be surrogates for promise of payment. The law is not designed to punish people who accept gifts of love, friendship, appreciation and support.

A good rule of thumb is to act as you would if you were to give a gift to any other friend. Gifts that are not cash, such as massage vouchers, flowers, ready-cooked meals, movie tickets and dinner vouchers are unlikely to be considered by any reasonable person as an inducement or reward for surrogacy. And surrogates are unlikely to be enticed to go through the challenges of pregnancy simply for the promise of a free movie ticket!

Cash deposits into a surrogate’s bank account are a bit trickier. In some States, not all, it is acceptable for the surrogate to be reimbursed for loss of wages due to the surrogacy treatment, pregnancy or birth and postnatal period. Loss of wages might be paid into the surrogate’s bank account in periodic or lump sum payments. If this applies to your arrangement, you should ensure that the amounts deposited correspond to evidence of the lost earnings, such as evidence of payslips or a record of reduced work hours.

For other reimbursements, such as the cost of prenatal supplements, or travel costs, consider direct payments to the clinic, or giving your surrogate a linked debit card that she can use to purchase pregnancy-related items.

So what about bigger gifts, or “push presents” (that’s a gift given to a woman to celebrate her having pushed out a baby!). Whilst a massage voucher might alleviate a pregnant woman’s sore back, it’s hardly an inducement to be a surrogate. What about bigger gifts, like electrical appliances, a holiday, or some nice jewelry? Again, the legislation is clear that surrogates should not receive material benefits or reward for being a surrogate. But is a gift of love and appreciation a reward, or inducement, or material benefit of surrogacy? You should exercise both caution and common sense. And if in doubt, get legal advice.

Intended parents worry that if they give any gifts to their surrogate could compromise the surrogacy arrangement and that the Court could refuse to make the parentage order. The laws provide that the Courts can refuse to make a parentage order if the arrangement looks to be a commercial transaction. And surrogates can be prosecuted if they have broken the law and received payment for being a surrogate. Some things to consider:

  • The police are pretty busy with solving other crimes and don’t have time to worry too much about whether your surrogate received a spa package as a reward for carrying your baby;
  • The Courts are most concerned with the baby’s best interests, and whether making the parentage order would be in the baby’s best interests. If all the criteria are met for a parentage order, the Courts are unlikely to refuse to make the Order simply because the surrogate received a gift from the intended parents.
  • There have been no prosecutions that we are aware of, of a surrogate who accepted gifts from the intended parents.

If in doubt, you should contact your lawyer. Our advice: be kind, exercise common sense, and remember: if it looks like a commercial arrangement it probably is. If it looks like a gift of love and friendship, it probably is.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Applying for a Parentage Order

By |2019-01-09T02:53:23+00:00November 15th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, interstate surrogacy, laws, parentage order, parenthood, surrogacy, surrogacy process, surrogate, written agreements|

After a baby is born through an Australian surrogacy arrangement, a Parentage Order is required to transfer parentage from the surrogate and her partner to the intended parents.

When the baby is born, the surrogate and her partner register the baby’s birth in the State where the baby is born. They can register the baby with a name chosen by the intended parents.

The surrogate and her partner are listed as the baby’s parents on the birth certificate.

Once the birth certificate is issued, the intended parents must apply for a Parentage Order (also called a Substitute Parentage Order). They apply to a Court in the State where they live. The purpose of a Parentage Order is to transfer parentage from the surrogate and her partner, to the intended parents. This has the effect of providing an Order that recognises the surrogacy arrangement, and who the true parents are. The Order also tells the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in the surrogate’s State, to re-issue the birth certificate with the parents listed, instead of the surrogate and her partner.

For the Court to grant a Parentage Order, the intended parents will need to provide evidence of the surrogacy arrangement, and that the surrogate and her partner have relinquished care of the baby to the parents. This is usually provided by way of Affidavits from each of the intended parents and the surrogate and her partner.

The Court will need to see evidence that the parties received legal advice and counselling prior to the pregnancy. In some States, post-surrogacy counselling is also a requirement of the Parentage Order.

You should refer to the legislation in the state where the intended parents live to understand the requirements that apply to you.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Traditional Surrogacy

By |2019-01-13T06:06:03+00:00October 28th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, egg donation, surrogacy process, surrogate, traditional surrogacy|

Traditional surrogacy is where a surrogate uses her own eggs to conceive, with sperm from an Intended Father or from a donor. It is different from gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate becomes pregnant with an embryo created with an egg from the intended mother or an egg donor. Traditional surrogacy is legal in every State of Australia except the ACT, and there is no surrogacy legislation in the Northern Territory.

Many fertility clinics will not facilitate a  traditional surrogacy arrangement, however it is worth contacting them to find out. Clinics in Victoria cannot facilitate a traditional surrogacy arrangement. This leaves home insemination as the only option. However, whilst the conception is all arranged in private, the parties still need to go through the process of counselling and obtaining legal advice beforehand.  A Parentage Order cannot be obtained after the birth unless all the pre-conception requirements are met.

Traditional surrogacy is less common than gestational surrogacy, due to the availability of IVF and egg donors. Surrogates are often more comfortable not being genetically related to the baby. And whilst traditional surrogacy does not usually involve an IVF Clinic, it is not something to pursue simply to save on expenses. If you are seeking an egg donor, you might like to join Egg Donation Australia.

Sarah was a traditional surrogate and is aware of how complex and rewarding it can be. It is a different experience to gestational surrogacy, and should not be entered into lightly. If you are interested in discussing your surrogacy options, you can book a consult with Sarah below.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Book an initial 30 minute consult

Click here to book!

Episode 23: Rachel (Part 3)

By |2019-01-18T04:49:15+00:00September 18th, 2018|Categories: Australia, grief and loss, infant loss, interstate surrogacy, surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate|

This is Part 3 of a 3-part episode with Rachel. In Part 3, we hear about Rachel’s final surrogacy pregnancy, with baby Matilda, for her parents Marian and David.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 23: Rachel (Part 2)

By |2019-01-18T04:49:07+00:00September 18th, 2018|Categories: Australia, grief and loss, infant loss, interstate surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate|

This is part 2 of a 3-part interview with Rachel. In this episode, Rachel talks about finding her final intended parents, Marian and David, and their journey to the birth of baby Hugo. Unfortunately, Hugo was diagnosed late in the pregnancy with a genetic condition, and he passed away a few days after his birth. This is a truly moving, heart-wrenching and special story of how four people came together and created a family, and survived the saddest of surrogacy outcomes.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 23: Rachel (Part 1)

By |2019-01-18T04:48:58+00:00September 18th, 2018|Categories: Australia, egg donation, gay dads, infertility, interstate surrogacy, ivf, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate, traditional surrogacy|

This is Part 1 in a 3-part episode with Rachel, a surrogate who has delivered 5 babies for their intended parents. In this episode, Rachel tells her story of starting as an egg donor, and then as a traditional surrogate. There were many bumps in the road, but Rachel’s tenacity and strength are inspiring.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 21: Marnie B

By |2019-01-18T04:47:51+00:00September 4th, 2018|Categories: Australia, interstate surrogacy, motherhood, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate|

Marnie B is a gestational surrogate for interstate intended parents. Marnie and her team did a mammoth amount of research and preparation prior to proceeding with the arrangement, and the preparation is paying off. If you are thinking about becoming a surrogate, I recommend listening to Marnie’s interview and taking note of all her amazing wisdom.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 19: Charmaine

By |2019-01-18T04:47:32+00:00August 21st, 2018|Categories: Australia, finding a surrogate, infertility, ivf, motherhood, pregnancy loss, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate|

Charmaine was a gestational surrogate and birthed James for his parents in 2017. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows, and Charmaine has a lot of wisdom for other intended parents and surrogates.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 12: Kate

By |2019-01-18T03:26:21+00:00July 3rd, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, finding a surrogate, gay dads, surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate|

Kate is a gestational surrogate for a gay couple, Mike & Glenn (listen to their story at Episode 10). Kate is due to give birth any day now, and in this episode you’ll hear all about her plans for a positive surrogacy birth and postnatal period.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 8: Hayley

By |2019-01-18T03:24:54+00:00June 5th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, finding a surrogate, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogacy process, surrogate|

Hayley is a gestational surrogate, and she and her intended parents all live in WA. Not everything went smoothly in Hayley’s surrogacy journey, and particularly during the last trimester. Hayley has some great advice for anyone exploring surrogacy and for how to make sure you have a positive experience.

Hayley volunteers with Surrogacy Australia and organises regular surrogacy catch-ups in WA. If you are interested in finding out more, join the Australian Surrogacy Community on Facebook and go to familiesthrusurrogacy.com

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 7: Carla (Part 1)

By |2019-01-18T03:24:37+00:00May 29th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, egg donation, gay dads, lgbt, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate, traditional surrogacy|

This is a 2-part episode with Carla, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate. Carla has donated her eggs to 8 couples! In this episode we explore her egg donations and her reasons for donating, and hear all about her relationships with her donor babies and their parents.
If you are interested in egg donation, join the Egg Donation Australia group on Facebook.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Episode 5: Rhiannon

By |2019-01-18T03:24:08+00:00May 15th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, gay dads, sister, surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogate|

In this episode you’ll hear from the sensational Rhiannon, who was a gestational surrogate for her brother and his partner not once, but twice – and is planning on doing it again!

Listen now to hear how Rhiannon took her Aunty duties to a whole new level, all the while single parenting her own three kids and with the support of her interstate intended parents.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.