finding a surrogate

/finding a surrogate

Episode 31: Emmy

By |2019-02-11T10:37:31+00:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, finding a surrogate, Surrogacy Podcast, victoria|

When growing her own family, Emmy struggled with gender disappointment and when she finally fell pregnant with a baby girl, she promised herself that she would repay the universe somehow. She looked for friends and family who might need a surrogate, but in the end she joined The Australian Surrogacy Community and found local intended parents Henry and Lisa.

Emmy talks about what attracted her to Henry and Lisa and her experience being their surrogate. Emmy birthed baby Harry for his parents in 2018.

You’ll love Emmy’s candour and humility. She also has great advice for anyone entering the surrogacy world: Get educated. Get active. And be proactive.

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

Pursuing Surrogacy as a Gay Dad

By |2019-03-04T01:49:03+00:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Blog, finding a surrogate, gay dads, surrogacy|

The media is buzzing with news that Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing, are planning to have a baby via surrogacy. Channing was quoted as saying that the couple were pursuing surrogacy in the US because ‘the laws in Australia are difficult for same sex males in regards to surrogacy.’

Whilst famous people having babies makes for good headlines, no one has checked whether what Channing said is true. For those of us who have carried a baby for a gay couple, his comments were a bit surprising. Gay couples considering surrogacy would be forgiven for assuming that surrogacy is difficult or impossible in Australia, and may head overseas without considering domestic options, or the ramifications of pursuing surrogacy overseas.

So, a fact check for a start – is surrogacy difficult for same sex couples in Australia? The truth is that surrogacy is challenging for everyone in Australia – same sex and opposite sex couples. The laws in almost all States apply the same to everyone, regardless of sexuality or marital status. Heterosexual couples face the same hurdles as same sex couples due to prohibitions on advertising for a surrogate, and the availability of surrogates, as well as restrictions on Medicare rebates. The one difference is Western Australia – WA surrogacy laws provide that only heterosexual, married couples can pursue surrogacy. That excludes same sex couples and singles. At the moment, the WA laws are under review and one criticism of the current law is that it prohibits same sex couples from accessing surrogacy. This pushes all West Australian same sex male couples to pursue surrogacy overseas. Does this apply to Thorpe and Channing? Well, Channing is from Perth, although it is reported that the couple live in Sydney.

So is it difficult to pursue surrogacy in Australia? Well, that depends on your perception and expectations. Surrogacy in Australia is based on relationships, rather than a transaction. And because it is relational, it can take a lot of time and commitment. There aren’t many women in Australia willing to be surrogates, and it is not normalised here as it might be in some other countries. There is no payment or reward for carrying a baby for someone else – the only reward is seeing them become parents. And as such, it can be quicker to pursue surrogacy overseas. There are enormous benefits for those that are able to pursue surrogacy within Australia, but the statistics are clear – only 50-60 babies are born via surrogacy in Australia every year, compared to almost 300 born overseas to Australians. But that doesn’t make it impossible – and certainly for those who are able to enter into a surrogacy arrangement within Australia, it’s very much worth the time and effort.

So how does surrogacy work in Australia?

Surrogacy in Australia is governed by State legislation, and each State has slightly different laws. All surrogacy in Australia must be altruistic; commercial surrogacy is illegal. This means the surrogate cannot receive payment or a reward in exchange for having a baby; she can however have her surrogacy-related expenses covered.

Some States take it a step further, criminalising commercial surrogacy overseas – NSW and Queensland laws provide that residents from those States must not pursue commercial surrogacy overseas.

There are also prohibitions on advertising for a surrogate in most States, which can be challenging for anyone to find a surrogate. There are options to find a surrogate, including social media and Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service. It is worth reading, researching and understanding the laws and the processes within Australia before considering overseas options.

Same sex male couples face the challenge of needing an egg donor, as well as a surrogate. Egg donation, like surrogacy, is altruistic in Australia, and most often egg donors are found either in family or friends, or via online forums such as Egg Donation Australia.

If you’re an aspiring dad and wondering about how it all works, what options are available to you and how to get started, you might be interested in downloading The Handbook. You’ll find some great support at the Gay Intended Dads Facebook Group. And you can book a consult with Sarah at the link below, when you’re ready to take the next step.

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 30: Anna

By |2019-01-28T11:20:43+00:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, finding a surrogate, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogacy process|

“I wanted to do something big in life…”

So decided Anna, a South Australian teacher and mother of two, as she launched herself into the world of egg donation and surrogacy. In this episode, we talked about the legacy we leave our children, and Anna’s journey finding and meeting intended parents and offering to be their surrogate. But like all these things, it didn’t all go smoothly and Anna and her first intended parents parted ways. And whilst they remain friends, Anna was shattered by the break-up. Anna eventually started ‘dating’ new intended parents, and they are now part-way through their journey.

You may be wondering why Anna is dressed as Wonder Woman in the photo. Good question. If you look closely, you’ll see that her costume is made with the packets from IVF medication, which she kept from her egg donation cycles!

Anna also works with Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service and is known within the surrogacy community for her data collection and stats analysis!  If you are interested in Anna’s thoughts on finding a surrogate in Australia, you should listen to Episode 20. You might also like to check out The Five Love Languages, which many surrogacy teams consider when building their relationship.

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

How Do I Find a Surrogate in Australia?

By |2019-02-05T09:44:16+00:00January 18th, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, finding a surrogate, surrogacy process|

So you’ve decided to explore surrogacy as an option to grow your family. You’ve done some google searches and are finding the information-overload a bit overwhelming. Rest assured, you’re not alone and plenty of other intended parents have traveled this journey before you. This post provides some information to set you on your way to finding a surrogate within Australia.

Before you go looking for a surrogate, you need to know if you meet the criteria for surrogacy in Australia. This is crucial – you cannot pursue surrogacy unless you have been advised by a medical professional that this is an option for you. Infertility whilst challenging, is not of itself grounds for surrogacy. If you or your partner have a uterus, you must have medical clearance to take the next step. There are lots of reasons why people pursue surrogacy – generally speaking, an incapacity to conceive or carry a baby to term will qualify – whether it’s chronic illness, incompatible medication, or recurrent pregnancy loss. Only a medical professional can make that assessment. If you are a same-sex male couple, you will qualify of course, except in Western Australia where gay men cannot currently access surrogacy – this is likely to change in the next year or two.

If you have been advised to pursue surrogacy to grow your family, you can start searching for a surrogate. The first thing to remember is that intended parents outnumber women who are willing to carry a baby for someone else. Many intended parents travel overseas to pursue surrogacy, because surrogacy in Australia is not common. Approximately 60 surro-babies are born in Australia each year – several hundred are born overseas. And whilst I fully support and encourage altruistic surrogacy within Australia, the reality is that less than 1 in 5 couples seeking a surrogate will find one in Australia.

There are, however, lots of reasons why you should consider Australian surrogacy as an option. For one, the arrangement is regulated by Australian laws, which means the surrogate’s rights are protected and the child’s best interests are paramount. You’ll be able to have lots of contact with your surrogate and her family. For any baby conceived through the arrangement, they will also be able to have contact with her  as they grow up and get to know their story. Surrogates and intended parents report positive ongoing relationships well beyond the pregnancy or birth.

Surrogacy in Australia is a bit like dating. And just like dating, it takes time and commitment for it to work. The parties need to be friends and have built sufficient trust for it to be a positive journey. Most new couples don’t make a baby within a few months! Surrogacy is not just about making a baby – it is about growing families and friendships. Altruistic surrogates are not paid to carry a baby; their reward is entirely in the giving and the ongoing relationships they have with the family they’ve helped create.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, read on! If you would prefer to consider overseas options, you can book a consult with Sarah via the link below.

Finding a surrogate in Australia is challenging and, as we say around here, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and there’s lots of learnings, growth and value in the journey. Here’s some avenues you might explore to meeting and building a relationship with that amazing woman and her family.

  1. Tell Your Story. This might seem like a strange way to find a surrogate, but it can work. Half of surrogacy arrangements in Australia are through ‘existing relationships’ – that is friends and family members. Many surrogates will tell you that they considered being a surrogate but didn’t know anyone in their friends or family who needed one. Have you told your friends and family about your intentions to grow your family? Do they know where you’re up to with that plan? Some intended parents will share their story in an email to their loved ones, and offer to talk to anyone who wants more information. Women who are considering becoming surrogates can access a free initial legal advice session with me before they make any final decisions. You might like to send them a copy of The Australian Surrogacy Handbook if they’re looking for more information.
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    Whilst I advocate for people sharing their story with friends and family, there are laws prohibiting advertising for a surrogate. Be careful that your story is just that – that you want to have a child and your reasons why you need someone else to carry for you. Be careful not to say anything that might look like an advertisement.
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  2. Join the Community. There are Facebook groups and forums you can join to meet other intended parents and surrogates. Below are a few you should try:
    1. The Australian Surrogacy Community on Facebook. This is a social group of intended parents and surrogates from around Australia. It is well-moderated and the community is supportive and generous with information. There are also regular catch-ups in many States which are organised through this group. I met my intended parents through this group, as lots of teams do.
    2. Egg Donation Australia  is another Facebook group and membership includes altruistic egg donors and egg recipients around Australia.
    3. Fertility Connections is a forum connected to The Australian Surrogacy Community Facebook group. This is where a lot of the discussions happen and parties can provide information about their stories and their intentions.
    4. Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service is an new option for surrogates and intended parents to meet. It is designed to support both surrogates and intended parents in forming well-suited teams and to support those teams over their surrogacy journeys with inbuilt counselling, mentoring and expenses management support.
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  3. Get Educated. There are lots of resources on this site for you to learn about surrogacy options and how altruistic surrogacy works in Australia. Take your time to read the information, download the Handbook and get educated about how surrogacy works in Australia. You should also listen to The Australian Surrogacy Podcast, which includes stories from surrogates and intended parents who have been where you are and have generously shared their experiences so that others can benefit.
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  4. Speak to Professionals. Now is a good time to speak to a fertility specialist about embryo creation and how a Clinic might support you in your surrogacy journey. Ask other intended parents in your State which specialists and Clinics they recommend. You might also speak to a lawyer about your options and the processes involved. You can book a consult with me via the link below.
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  5. Get Ready to Make a Baby. Whilst you are researching and getting to know other people in the community, you should also consider what options are available to make embryos. If you need an egg donor, you might want to look for one before searching for a surrogate. Embryo creation takes time. Some Clinics cannot make embryos before a surrogate is available, due to the State laws – it is worth seeking advice about your specific circumstances to find out the best way forward.

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

By |2019-02-27T06:00:55+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, costs of surrogacy, finding a surrogate, ivf, parentage order, surrogacy process, traditional surrogacy|

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 20: Sarah & Anna present at the Surrogacy Conference

By |2019-01-18T04:47:41+00:00August 28th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, finding a surrogate, interstate surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogacy process|

Sarah and Anna presented this session to the Australian Surrogacy Conference in June. You’ll hear from Sarah with a broad overview of the surrogacy process in Australia, and then you’ll hear Anna talking about how to make connections and build strong foundations for a positive surrogacy journey within Australia.

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 14: Henry & Lisa

By |2019-01-18T03:26:40+00:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, egg donation, fatherhood, finding a surrogate, motherhood, pregnancy loss, surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogacy process|

Henry & Lisa are well-known in the surrogacy community, both for their support of other intended parents and surrogates, but also for their senses of humour. In this episode, we chat about the upcoming birth of their baby, conceived through egg donation and surrogacy, and how they’ve traversed the infertility terrain.

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 1: Introducing Sarah

By |2019-01-18T01:44:44+00:00April 5th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, finding a surrogate, gay dads, infertility, ivf, motherhood, surrogacy, Surrogacy Podcast, surrogacy process, traditional surrogacy, victoria|

In this first episode of The Australian Surrogacy Podcast, you’ll hear from me, Sarah Jefford, and about why I decided to make a surrogacy podcast.

I am a surrogate and a surrogacy lawyer living in Melbourne with my family. In 2015 I decided to become a surrogate, and in January 2018 I gave birth to a baby girl, Darcey, for her two dads Mike and Nate.

You’ll hear all about my journey to becoming a surrogate, as well as about me as a surrogacy lawyer.

 

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.