A message from Growing Families, an inclusive surrogacy service.
Thinking of becoming a Dad? Start planning now.
It is alarming how fast the rainbow family-building landscape has shifted in the past decade. Ten years ago, there was a large cohort of gay couples and singles who flocked to India to chase their dream of family; a similarly large group did the same in Thailand a few years later. Smaller numbers built families in Cambodia and Nepal. One by one those countries closed as governments wised up to the challenges that a lack of supportive laws posed.
Amidst all this, surrogacy here in Australia have steadily grown in popularity -with a caveat. The lack of structured support, screening and compensation for Australian surrogates means many fall over before they even get to the embryo transfer stage.
The lucky amongst us have a sister or friend who might step forward to offer her eggs, or even to carry our child. But most look further afield – to the US or Canada – stalwarts of the surrogacy landscape – and more recently to programs in Colombia or Argentina to create family. There are pros and cons to all these options which are vital to understand.
Jewish couple Ofir, a high school maths teacher and Tom, a software engineer, met on Facebook. Both come from close families with three siblings each. Tom had dreamt of parenthood for a long time. Around four years into their relationship they attended a surrogacy conference to understand their options. A seed was planted for Ofir. He kept thinking about the possibilities, imagining becoming a parent.
They knew this pathway would be expensive. Moving in with Ofir’s parents to save money, the couple were drawn to altruistic surrogacy in Canada. Good friends had a child via surrogacy in Canada and helped the pair with their research. (Their story features in a new book Surrogacy Stories).
Cross-border surrogacy can be an arduous journey with a myriad grey areas. So start planning early. If you think you want to be a dad in three years time and do it without financial hardship – now is the time to start gathering information, saving funds and getting yourself on agency wait-lists.
Between 5 – 8 November, at seminars in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth – singles and couples will share their journeys to parenthood here in Australia, in Canada, the US and Colombia, including how they planned, budgeted and survived the hurdles. The seminars bring together surrogates, intended parents and experts from around the globe. They are a great opportunity to get educated on the options available, the risks and ensure you can look back on your family building journey with pride. Go to www.growingfamilies.org/all-events