• Fertility Experts from around the world

  • Run by parents for intended parents

  • Meet and network with parents & professionals

  • Check out our events!

  • Fertility Experts from around the world

  • Growing Families is a non-profit organisation

  • Run by parents for intended parents

  • Our events promote best-practice


This two day event at the Brisbane Hilton is a chance to meet surrogates, donors, other intended parents, those who have completed the process and industry experts.

Please note the Saturday (domestic) program is at this link. The Register Here button can be used to purchase tickets for the full weekend, including social events.

Conference Committee: Narelle Dickinson, Sophie Parkinson, Kyla Booth, Suzarn Pietersen, Jemma Bacon, Lily Obradovic, Karen Mills, Sam Everingham, Charmaine Staal.

IconNational Donor & Surrogacy Conference 20 June International Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Sydney Time)
Timing Description

The Impact of Covid-19 on cross-border Donor IVF & surrogacy

An overview of current donor and surrogacy options globally; differences in eligibility, legal restrictions, risks, costs, , exit processes and parental status. Creating embryos, shipping, paperwork, logistics, donor approval Logistics, safety, shipping, travel, vaccinations

Sam Everingham, Growing Families

Success & Risk in Embryo Creation & Transfer

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

Important considerations in selecting a Surrogacy Agency & Lawyer

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? Do agencies have ‘in-house’ lawyers? Does this pose any conflict of interest?

Center for Surrogate Parenting, California

How Canada’s Laws Support Surrogacy and Parentage for all

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

Locating & Supporting Surrogates in the Canadian context

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



Risks and how to manage them

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

The Impact of Covid-19 on US surrogacy

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

Surrogacy in Ukraine

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.

Sam Everingham, Growing Families


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


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

Lunch & Networking

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

Sarah Bevan, Sarah Bevan lawyers


Altruistic Surrogacy in Greece

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

Fly-in Egg Donors, Fly-in Sperm

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

Sperm & Embryo Shipping

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.

Rodney Oldham, General Manager, PakAir, Pam Matthews, Embryosafe CryoTransport, Heather Eady, Growing Families

Citizenship & Passport Processes for returning infants

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

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

DNA testing for Australian Citizenship 

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

International Travel Considerations for Egg Donor IVF or Surrogacy Births

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