A list of frequently asked questions has been compiled below.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about surrogacy in general, click here.


What is Surrogacy Australia Support Service (SASS)?

This is a professional service based on best practice research and models. It is designed to educate both surrogates and Intended Parents (IPs) to support surrogacy teams over their journeys with inbuilt counselling, mentoring and expenses management support.

Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service provides assistance for those:

  • wanting to find a surrogate
  • wanting to find intended parents
  • who have a surrogacy team

How much does the service cost for Intended Parents (IPs)?
 

Packages Suitable for:
Education and Mentoring

$550

  • IPs looking for a surrogate
  • IPs who have a surrogate
  • Free for surrogates to join
Profiling

$550

IPs looking for a surrogate
Pair Education and Mentoring with Profiling for $990  IPs looking for a surrogate
Journey Support – until 12 months post birth

$3000

Surrogacy teams, once IPs have a surrogate

Who provides the Mentor sessions?
 

Mentors for IPs are parents themselves through surrogacy in Australia. Surrogate Mentors are women who have birthed as a surrogate in Australia. In each capital city we aim to have Mentors who are:

  • a surrogate
  • a hetero mum
  • a gay dad

For a full list of current and past Mentors, see the section About Us

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What if our IVF clinic already provides ongoing counselling
 

Teams are informed about this possible double up and conversations then ensue with the team and SASS. Different packages can be (and have already been) negotiated for each team based on their unique circumstances if necessary. Our research in 2018 showed that the vast majority of surrogates did not use the inbuilt counselling offered by the IVF clinics.

If your clinic offers ongoing counselling, we encourage you ask them what they are offering in terms of ‘ongoing’. Is it until 12 months post birth? Is it with any counsellor of your choosing? Can the sessions be done via Zoom?

Our Stage 2 $3,000 fee covers far more than counselling. It includes support setting up a joint bank account for expenses, expense monitoring, ongoing surrogate and surrogacy team support and liaison.

If you feel this scenario matches that of your surrogacy team, please discuss this with us as we can cater a package to your team needs.

 

The application process asks for information about my mental and physical health, smoking, drug use as well as past pregnancies.

  1. Why is this information required?

SASS is modelled on similar altruistic services in the UK and Canada which ask for similar information. Such information will allow us to guide our conversations to further educate you about surrogacy and to share experiences of other surrogates/IPs who have similar backgrounds. The information will assist you in understanding your own mental and physical readiness for surrogacy.

 

  1. 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 mentor, surrogacy counsellor, intended parents or surrogate without your express permission.

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Which counsellors will be providing the pre-paid psychological support?
 

Surrogacy Australia has engaged

Katrina Hale (Sydney)

Narelle Dickinson (Brisbane)

Sarah Nowoweiski (Melbourne)

who are very experienced surrogacy counsellors. They each conduct sessions over Zoom/Skype, so location is not a problem.

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.

 

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 aim 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 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.

SASS has been modelled on altruistic support programs in the UK and Canada.

In South Australia, with the new Surrogacy Act 2019, it is illegal to facilitate a surrogacy arrangement or introduce intended parents and surrogates to each other.

This issue was raised at Surrogacy Australia board meetings, and it was decided that while Surrogacy Australia is registered in NSW, SASS will not introduce South Australian IPs or surrogates until or unless we receive legal advice. We are currently exploring our options for legal advice.

Stage 1 of SASS has members paying a fee for education and support, and no money is exchanged for introductions. SASS packages are undergoing some slight changes in early 2021 to better reflect the Education, Profiling and Journey Support sections, which in turn will complement the changes in the South Australian Surrogacy Act.

What if six months have passed and no surrogate has chosen our profile?

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. Finding a surrogate does not mean she is the right surrogate for you and your family either.  Surrogacy Australia cannot force a match.

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 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.

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Why is this service being offered?

Research in 2018 commissioned by Surrogacy Australia 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.

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