Over the weekend, we caught up with Sam Everingham, the Director of Events and Content from Families Through Surrogacy. We wanted to have a one-on-one customised advice regarding our surrogacy options and wanted to milk his wealth of knowledge so we can make the most well-informed decision as to where to start our surrogacy journey.
Families Through Surrogacy has been around for a while now and they have been created to provide information to the public or Intended Parents about surrogacy rules and laws around the world, including information about surrogacy as a whole. I have been using their website as my port of call whenever I have any questions.
Sam was in our shoes in the last decade. In 2009, he was also an Intended Parent and went to India for surrogacy. He loved the journey even though he and his partner met with road bumps along the way. Read more about Sam’s journey here.
We got to Milsons Point just across the Harbour Bridge in Sydney on Friday (4 November 2016) morning. We didn’t know what to expect. We have done so much research now and have been overwhelmed by all the information from many agencies through their websites and Skype calls. Every agency claims to be the best in the field, but who can we trust our family future with? Sam broke down what is important to us and also went into the costs that we will be looking at in the various options that we were keen to look at. He mentioned a few countries that we could go with – USA, Canada, Australia and Laos.
We quickly dropped the idea of Laos as we did not like the sounds of the country being ‘new to surrogacy’, ‘up and coming’, and also ‘no concrete laws around surrogacy’.
We played around with the idea of surrogacy in Australia but didn’t like the crazy-lengthy counselling sessions with the surrogates before anything is to happen. Also, have to know the surrogates at least 6 months before anything is to happen. In Australia, surrogacy can’t be commercialised (with monetary compensation), it has to be altruistic (with no monetary compensation). The process is so so so long. It is even a requirement to have the embryos frozen for four months before transfer! In our view, it is silly. Surrogacy in Australia would be cheaper, of course… but it is going to be a drag.
We have USA and Canada now to look into now. Sam had just sent over a detailed plan for us for each of the countries and we have to digest that soon before going for the Surrogacy Roadshow in Melbourne on 30 November. I hope the report/plan from Sam is good. After all, it is costing us AU$700 +GST for it.