A list of frequently asked questions have been compiled below. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here or elsewhere on the Surrogacy Australia website, please email us and we’ll do our best to help.
In an altruistic surrogacy agreement, a surrogate does not receive any financial payment or equivalent material reward. Altruistic surrogacy comes with an unspoken but necessary obligation of emotional reward for the surrogate. The surrogate is however, reimbursed by the intended parent/s for any medical expenses and general costs associated with the pregnancy .
|Media engagement & community education||Increase Australian community understanding & awareness of altruistic surrogacy and its benefits||Part-time social media resource engaged from October 2019 to promote positive content across multiple social media platforms|
|Promote a workable altruistic surrogacy framework||Significantly raise the proportion of Australian intended parents engaging in domestic surrogacy|| Introduced SASS program December 2018 to better facilitate screening, education and professional support of Australian surrogates and intended parents
Allowed Monash University to conduct an independent evaluation of the SASS program from January 2020 – Jan 2022
|Empower more Australian women to consider altruistic surrogacy & egg donation||Significantly raise the proportion of Australian intended parents engaging in domestic surrogacy||Tell positive surrogate stories; promote community conversations; work with national and state media|
|Lobby to modify state and federal laws to make engaging in domestic surrogacy more affordable, better supported with less risks for all parties||Ensure children born via surrogacy to Australians have their intended parents recognised as their legal parents from birth||Legal affairs sub-committee working since Feb 2020 on a grass-roots strategy at state level to harness support from parents to engage with their local parliamentary members on the need for law reform|
Surrogacy Australia’s new Support Service provides the necessary professional support to ensure we can introduce you to intended parents who understand surrogacy, meet the requirements you are seeking and can support you properly throughout your journey. For details, click here
No surrogacy journey is the same, so it is not possible to predict exact costs, but our research with Australian parents shows costs average around $55,000 – $75,000 over a two year period, including (non-rebatable) IVF, legal fees, mandatory counselling, surrogate expenses and compensation for time off work, insurance and travel, post-birth transfer of parentage. Costs are lower for traditional surrogacy (non-IVF) and will also be lower where a successful pregnancy is achieved on the first embryo transfer. Doing your research by attending surrogacy seminars or conferences can save you many thousands.
Surrogates in a commercial surrogacy arrangement receives financial payment or reward for acting as a surrogate. They are also reimbursed for any medical expenses, just like an altruistic surrogacy arrangement.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, and some states have legislation in place that restricts residents from entering into commercial surrogacy arrangements overseas. More information about this legislation is available on our website.
There are two types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional.
Gestational surrogacy is when the surrogate has a fertilised embryo transferred into her. The embryo is the product of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) using the sperm and egg of the intended parents or donated eggs or sperm. A gestational surrogate has no genetic contribution to the child they are carrying. Gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy in Australia.
Traditional surrogacy is when the surrogate uses her own eggs and the sperm of the intended father, often via home insemination. A traditional surrogate therefore has a genetic contribution to the child she is carrying.
Join online groups and forums to interact and connect with intended parents and surrogates. The Australian Surrogacy Community welcome Australian and New Zealand residents as members.
Join the Surrogacy Australia Support Service for more structured assistance in locating a suitable surrogate
This is a professional service based on best practice research designed to help 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. See here for full details
FAQs for All
- Why is this service being offered?
Recent research commissioned by Surrogacy Australia which included interviews with 30 altruistic surrogates showed that
- surrogates commonly experience much harder journeys than they expected, owing to a lack of practical and emotional support on the part of intended parents.
- Surrogates are not always good at asking for support when they need it
This service has been launched as a response to these findings, to better ensure that surrogates do not find themselves in difficult journeys.
- How much does the service cost for Intended parents?
Customised introductions + journey support $3990
Journey Support only $3000
- Will IPs be charged if they don’t end up with a suitable surrogate?
If you are not chosen by a surrogate, you will only have paid the initial $990 enrolment fee. You will not need to pay anything else.
- Surrogacy is already expensive for Intended parents. What justifies this additional cost for them?
Intended parents are paying AU$10,000 for comparative support services in other altruistic jurisdictions such as Canada. Surrogacy Australia knows that significant numbers of intended parents and surrogates do not engage in Australian surrogacy due to the absence of professional support. This service addresses that need at a significantly lower cost than in Canada, providing built-in counselling support, advisory sessions and more.
- What if we don’t need the built-in counselling support or our clinic already provides it?
If this is the case, other follow up support can be provided to you to assist your journey. Research shows that many surrogates do not think they will need a professional to debrief with about their emotions along the way, but after the fact, most wished they had utilised counselling.
- Is the Journey Support service relevant for surrogacy teams who have already matched?
Yes, surrogacy teams who would like the support and back up of a structured service which provides them with confidential, professional support throughout what can be difficult and lengthy arrangements are welcome to access this service.
The application process asks for information about my mental and physical health, smoking, drug use as well as past pregnancies.
- Why is this information required?
The Support Service is modelled on similar altruistic services in the UK and Canada which ask for similar information. Such information will allow us or medical professionals, to provide you with more accurate information about your chances of a safe surrogacy pregnancy. The information will assist you in understanding your own mental and physical readiness for surrogacy.
- Who will have access to this information? Will it be confidential?
The information will only be accessible by two paid Surrogacy Australia staff who have signed confidentiality agreements. It will not be shared with your surrogate mentor, surrogacy counsellor or intended parents without your express permission.
- Will the introduction process take away from relationship building, making the relationship less genuine or long lasting?
No, Surrogacy Australia will continue to recommend a six month getting to know you period for new relationships and the minimum wait time to accept teams for Journey support is three months, to allow for each team to work on building strong bonds.
10. Will an Intended parents profile be given to more than one surrogate at once?
No, we will only provide an IP profile to one surrogate at a time
FAQs FOR SURROGATES
Which surrogates will be providing one-on-one mentor sessions?
Mentor Sessions will be delivered by experienced surrogates who have completed journeys as they can best advise as to what you will need as a surrogate. These will include Charmaine Staal (QLD), Marnie McIntyre (NSW), Hayley Christidis (WA) and Amanda Meehan (VIC).
Which counsellors will be providing the pre-paid psychological support?
Surrogates will have a choice of counsellors to utilise, but recommended counsellors will include Narelle Dickinson, Miranda Montrone and Katrina Hale.
If the surrogate does not click with any of the first 3 profiles provided, will more be given?
Yes, until the surrogate is confident she has recipients she can start to build a trusting relationship with.
Is the Journey Support service relevant for surrogates who are considering carrying for a family member or friend?
Yes, even those teams which involve close friends or family members can benefit from third party support to ensure that expectations and relationships are preserved via good planning and support.
The upfront requirements of SASS will take me more work than I thought. Is it really worth it?
Surrogacy will take far more effort than you might expect. Everybody needs to be invested in this process. If parents must complete the application process, we feel it only fair that surrogates do also. These checks are designed to ensure that we can provide a safe and well-supported route to parenthood.
FAQs FOR INTENDED PARENTS
Does my initial investment guarantee I/we will find an Australian surrogate?
No, given the onus is on the surrogate to offer, your investment cannot guarantee this. However this does give you a far better chance of being introduced to a well-suited Australian surrogate if you do not have a family member or friend who has offered to carry.
What will be the ratio of Intended Parents to surrogates?
Surrogacy Australia will maintain a ratio of no more than 4:1 (IPs/surrogates). This means that Intended parents may experience a waiting period before they are accepted into the ‘pool’.
Isn’t advertising for surrogates illegal in Australia? How will Australian Surrogates be sourced?
In most states, advertising is only illegal if it is paid advertising. Surrogacy Australia’s status as a charity provides the organisation with access to generous Google Adwords grants for advertising purposes on an ongoing basis.
Isn’t a matching program illegal in Australia?
Yes, like countries such as Canada and the UK, organisations are not allowed to match even altruistic surrogates. Instead we provide the tools and support to assist surrogates to make more informed decisions on who they carry for, and provide their surrogacy teams with support during the journey.
The Surrogacy Australia Support Service has been modelled on altruistic support programs in the UK and Canada
What if six months have passed and no surrogates have chosen our profile?
Surrogacy Australia cannot force a match just because you enrolled earlier. However if you are accepted into the program, it is because we think you have a good chance of matching with an Australian surrogate. Many surrogacy programs in the US and Canada have delays to surrogate matching of 6 – 9 months. If you do not have the patience or time to wait, there are overseas programs we can refer you to which can match you more quickly.
If we do not think you are suited to Australian surrogacy, you will be advised of this after the initial application process.
Assuming I match with a surrogate, can you guarantee our relationship will stay solid?
No this is up to you.
Assuming I match with a surrogate, can you guarantee a child will result?
Whether you engage in surrogacy here or overseas, pregnancy and childbirth is never a guaranteed process. Sometimes surrogates require five or more embryo transfers. Sometimes pregnancies miscarry. Rarely children are stillborn or are born with fatal conditions.
Surrogacy requires faith, trust, goodwill and good planning.
Which IPs will be providing one-on-one mentor sessions?
Mentor Sessions will be delivered by experienced IPs (now just Ps!) who have completed journeys as they can best advise as to what you will need as new IPs. These will include
Lisa and Henry Leggett (VIC)
Kristy Green (ACT)
Zoe Stefan (QLD)
Leah Ellis (NSW)
Marian Sandberg (SA)
Mike Collins and Glenn Trainor (VIC)
Ben Warner and Terry (QLD)
Mahesh Oliver and Phil (NSW)
Brendan Campbell and Matt (SA)