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 or other medical issues that make pregnancy or delivery impossible, risky or otherwise undesirable. Surrogacy is also an option for single men or Surrogacy for gay men. The sperm or eggs may be provided by the commissioning parents, but donor sperm, eggs and embryos may also be used.
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 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 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.
Please note: in Victoria, all surrogacy arrangements must be approved by the Health Department’s Patient Review Panel. For further information, please 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), the surrogate and her partner (if applicable) will be required to organise separate appointments to obtain independent legal advice. Each 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 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. Our fertility coordinator will discuss the details of the cycle treatment the specialist has ordered, such as:
It is City Fertility 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.
*Please note 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’s charges and costs your surrogate may incur, such as additional medical or travel expenses. For further information regarding City Fertility fees, please contact us.
Legal advice is compulsory in all surrogacy cases. It is also important to note that each state has different legislation in regard to surrogacy, for example:
Therefore, we encourage your to refer to your own state Surrogacy Act for more information.