Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. The “commissioning” parent or parents (sometimes called the intended parent/s) may arrange a surrogate pregnancy because of: female infertility; other medical issues that make pregnancy or delivery impossible, risky or otherwise undesirable; the intended parent or parents being male. The sperm or eggs may be provided by the commissioning parents, but donor sperm, eggs and embryos may also be used. Surrogacy requires a great deal of time, money and patience to succeed, but it can bring happiness to all concerned if the medical, legal, financial and emotional aspects are properly considered. Surrogacy is growing in popularity as a way of having children. Your decision to use a surrogate is extremely important, and for this reason we aim to provide you with as much information as you require. Our nurses are available for support and to help the commissioning parent(s) and the surrogate make an informed decision in regard to their treatment.
City Fertility Centre cannot assist in the process of finding a surrogate. Intended parents (people wishing to become parents through surrogacy) may find a woman willing to be a surrogate themselves; however, it is illegal to advertise for surrogates or for a woman to advertise that she is willing to become a surrogate.
The intended parent(s), surrogate and surrogate’s partner will be asked to attend a consultation with a specialist, where the medical procedures involved will be explained to them and all relevant medical details checked.
The City Fertility Centre Review Panel consists of specialists, fertility coordinators, scientists, national managers and counsellors. The Surrogacy Panel reviews the medical history and screening blood test results from the surrogate and commissioning parents, and provides recommendations for the specialist. The specialist will then inform the surrogate and/or commissioning parents whether they are able to proceed to the counselling and legal stage. For Victoria, please note that all surrogacy arrangements must be approved by the Health Department’s Patient Review Panel. Visit health.vic.gov.au.
It is mandatory for people who are considering a surrogacy arrangement to attend counselling. Counselling provides the opportunity to discuss treatment on a more personal level. It allows people to raise issues that are more private, such as individual concerns, relationship difficulties or current life situations that may affect the couple’s experience of treatment. Children may be asked to attend (if appropriate). The intending parent(s), surrogate and her partner (if applicable) will be required to attend two separate counselling sessions (a two-week “cooling off” period is recommended) and one joint counselling session.
The commissioning parent(s) and surrogate and her partner (if applicable) will be required to organise separate appointments to obtain independent legal advice. The commissioning parent(s) and surrogate must obtain advice from separate legal advisers.
At this stage, if all parties remain willing to proceed with the arrangement, all information and reports involved in your application will be collated and forwarded to the City Fertility Centre Surrogacy Review Panel. The panel will ensure all necessary information has been obtained for your application’s submission to the Patient Review Panel for approval. The final recommendation will be forwarded to your City Fertility specialist.
When the surrogacy arrangement is in place (after legal and medical consultation), you, your partner, your surrogate and her partner must present to City Fertility Centre to talk to our fertility coordinator about the details of cycle treatment the specialist has ordered, such as:
It is City Fertility Centre policy that donor sperm must be quarantined for six months so that screening for infectious disease can be undertaken. The man who produces the sperm to create the embryos is considered to be a “donor” even if he is one of the commissioning parents.
Treatment will normally begin after all the above steps have been completed. A healthy lifestyle is recommended before and during egg or sperm collection and pregnancy. This includes a sensible approach to diet, exercise and alcohol. Adopt a healthy, balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates and fibre. You will be advised to stop smoking and restrict your alcohol consumption before treatment.
*The order of these steps/requirements may vary depending on your circumstances.
The costs will vary depending on your particular case. They will consist of your lawyer’s fees, City Fertility Centre’s charges and costs your surrogate may incur, such as additional medical or travel expenses. For further information regarding City Fertility Centre fees, please contact us.
Legal advice is compulsory in all surrogacy cases. The commissioning parent(s), the surrogate and her partner (if applicable) will be required to organise separate appointments to obtain independent legal advice. The commissioning parent(s) and surrogate must obtain advice from separate legal advisors.
Please consider the following:
It is important to note that each state has different legislation in regard to surrogacy, so please refer to your own state Surrogacy Act for more information.
We are proud to announce the opening of Rainbow Fertility, Australia’s first dedicated fertility and IVF service catering exclusively to the LGBTI community. The dedicated Rainbow Fertility centres will offer you the choice of attending a standalone service where you can receive the same fertility care in a judgment-free setting with tailored support material to suit your individual needs. Our Rainbow Fertility centres are in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.