Episode 2 – Tyson – gay dad
Tyson and Daniel from Melbourne became Dads to their daughter (London) in December 2021. London was carried by their surrogate (previously a stranger) Beth.
Tyson has supported many new gay Intended Dads who are at the beginning of their journey. He is also the author of the Surrogacy Process Chart and video interviewing 3 surrogates in the style of ‘you can’t ask that‘ – clearly a contributor to the surrogacy community!
Follow on instagram @twodads_inmelbourne
This episode was recorded in January 2022.
These podcasts were recorded as part of the free webinar series run by Surrogacy Australia. If you would like to attend one, head to this page for dates and registration links. The recording can also be found on our YouTube channel so you can see the photos that are described. Find more podcast episodes here.
The webinars are hosted by Anna McKie who is a gestational surrogate, high school Math teacher and surrogacy educator working with Surrogacy Australia and running SASS (Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service).
Are you an Intended Parent (IP) who is looking to find a surrogate, or a surrogate looking for Intended Parents? Join SASS.
Thanks for watching!
Welcome to Surrogacy Australia’s podcast series. I’m your host, Anna McKie. Thank you for sharing your time to listen to this episode. These recordings are from the regular one hour free webinars that I run, which I invite you to attend if you haven’t already. They take you through how surrogacy works in Australia, including how to find a surrogate or intended parents. There are opportunities to ask questions and you hear from a co-host each time about their own journey.
This episode of the webinar series, recorded in January 2022, features Tyson. Tyson and Daniel from Melbourne became dads to their daughter, London, in December 2021. London was carried by their surrogate Beth, who was previously a stranger. Tyson has supported many intended parents, IPs, who are at the beginning of their journey. He is also the author of the Surrogacy Process Chart.
and video interviewing three surrogates in the style of, you can’t ask that. He’s clearly a contributor to the surrogacy community. In this episode, I mentioned further reading, which refers to a list of links that you might like to work your way through. They can be found on the Surrogacy Australia website within the webinar section. One of the links is the process chart, which is a fantastic resource to have on hand. You will gain a great overview of surrogacy in Australia from this episode, as well as answering the question,
Is there merit to pursuing overseas and domestic surrogacy at the same time? Tyson talks about the cost of his journey, as well as the advantages of being a SASS team and embracing the surrogacy community to make friends with other IPs and surrogates. I hope you enjoy the episode. So now we’ll head over to Tyson and go through some of the photos that he shared with us and to see what his happily ever after looks like. Very recent dads through surrogacy here, six weeks ago.
So Tyson, we’ve got some photos here. And obviously there’s quite a journey to get to this point of being pregnant and then birth. Hopefully people can see the humor in your team in these photos. So this was you and Dan for a day experiencing the weight of pregnancy, was it? It wasn’t quite a whole day. It was just one evening. We weren’t quite as good as that to have done a whole day, but Beth and her two boys came over for dinner.
and they brought some watermelons with them. Well, I got a watermelon, we got a whole bunch of gladwrap that Beth brought over as well. So we managed to strap some watermelons to our chests, well, to our bellies so we could experience what it was like to be pregnant for a couple of hours. So it was a difficult evening for us indeed. So we got to experience lying down, going to bed, getting off the couch, having children nearby you as well, getting dinner ready, sitting at the dinner table and trying to experience the difficulties.
of being pregnant or at least some of the difficulties of being pregnant anyway. Would you say that that sort of involvement together and that humor, was that something that was a part of your team regularly? Absolutely, we became really close with Beth, she was an unknown story to us. We met her through the Australian Sorority Facebook group and we didn’t just find a story, we found a friend. So we became really, really close with Beth and we still are.
So humour is a huge part of that as well in terms of us building our relationship and maintaining it as well, particularly considering that our journey went through the entire of COVID. So we didn’t actually get to be together as much as we would have liked to for periods of that, but we made able to maintain our relationship throughout that as well. Well done. And so the next photo here, I think we’ve got day of birth, I guess we were saying, was it a Wednesday six weeks ago?
It was the, well, by the time we got in there it was a couple of days before. That was a long process of being in the hospital when we got in there, because she was 15 days late by the time she was born. So Beth was a real trooper. She didn’t sign up for quite the lengthy pregnancy that we ended up having, but this is 6 a.m. I think it was six past six on the Wednesday morning, six weeks ago. We didn’t have a birth photographer.
Part one, because COVID was around and two, we chose not to anyway. That was the decision that we made as a team that we didn’t want another person in the room. But thankfully we had an amazing midwife who took this photo for us as well. And we were so lucky at the hospital we had with the midwife team that we had. So this is one of the photos that we had of just after the handover, which is just one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever been involved with. It was just, it was a magical day.
even though we were exhausted, not as exhausted as Beth, but we’re all exhausted, but it was just, it was perfect. That’s lovely to hear. And so this photo here, can you talk us through how you’re feeling or just all the emotions in this photo I’d imagine? Yeah, so this is shortly after we got home. We ended up staying in hospital for five days post-birth because London was a bit unwell. So she was cared for at the special care unit at the hospital for five days.
But then we finally were able to get her home and she was really happy and healthy. So this is the first photo we had of the three of us at home together. Beautiful. And yeah, so it sounds like a lot’s gone on in December for your team here, lots of life changing moments. Absolutely. And then I suppose so London’s had her first Christmas? She did, we had our first Christmas all together and that’s me walking the dogs and London as well and Dan was also with us as well.
It was really good at Christmas because we were out of lockdown as well, so we were able to see our family and friends and they were able to meet London, which was a little bit later than we would have liked, but that was okay. But it was really nice. So you can’t really see in that photo, but she’s in a Christmas little outfit as well. And there’s other photos of Daniel has a number of sisters, so they’re all wearing matching Christmas outfits, so London’s cousin and all of her aunties, because she’s got a few aunties. Beautiful.
Should we, next Christmas be quite a different size? Yes. A lot of throwing in this first. Absolutely. And so I’m sure for some of the IPs listening, this brings hope, this shows yes, this can really happen to other people. So, and then I think this was a recent zoo trip. Yeah, that was our trip to Werribee Zoo last week, which was really nice. We got a zoo pass for Christmas. So we took London, we went with London’s cousin, who’s five months old at the moment.
So the two of them got their first experience of the zoo together, which was really nice as well. Good. Good. I don’t know if she really saw many of the animals, but we did, so that was okay. That’s true, and I suppose practice just being out as dads with the carrier and all the things that you need to bring with it to make your day happen there. And this is life going on now. And for Beth too, I’d imagine, you know, seeing this, knowing that she’s helped create those memories and she’s over time probably met these people that…
London’s cousins and family and so she knows who she’s contributing to as that family grows. Well that was probably one of the biggest challenges that Beth wasn’t able to spend time with our extended family as much as we would have liked to just because we’re in lockdown for most of our pregnancy and leading up to it as well. So our families and friends all wrote letters to Beth with photos that went with it that formed part of the push present that Beth put as well. So
She has a photo book as a keepsake with all letters from all of our extended family and friends to her. Which is our way of being able to try and connect that extended family that she wasn’t able to be a part of. We didn’t have a baby shower or anything else leading up to it where people could get together and see Beth. Wow. Well, I could imagine Beth, because as we often say that it’s an emotional payment for a surrogate. And so for other people to go to that time and effort to write those.
letters because in a world where it’s quite fast paced people have to pause in their life and do that when and she’s taking the time to grow a baby I can imagine that that would have meant a lot what a wonderful idea anybody listening adding that to your to your list that’s a beautiful idea to to make that connection there. We didn’t come up with it ourselves it was other IPs that passed that on to us and we took it because we thought it was fantastic as well so it’s something that’s
and push presents that go once you’ve had the baby as well. Beautiful, love it to push presents, push a baby out. So obviously we got to birth and late pregnancy and life now a bit after birth, but obviously there was some time at the beginning. Do you roughly remember, when did you first investigate surrogacy or first met Beth? Like what was the timeframe until birth we’re talking about? Yeah, so Dan and I, we always wanted…
to have a family. We’ve been together for 13 years and always talked about having kids, but it was always a difficult one because we knew that we weren’t able to do certain aspects being a gay couple. So about probably six or seven years ago we met with a lawyer who recommended looking at international surrogacy and they said that domestic surrogacy wasn’t an option, which isn’t actually the case. We were told different information. We’ve been told that by fertility specialists as well. But then we came across the
podcast, Sarah Jefford’s Surrogacy Podcast, three years ago. And then that led us to the Australian surrogacy community. So we joined that pretty much almost three years to the dot from when London was born. So that’s how long it took from when we joined Facebook. We had to find an egg donor, find a surrogate, and then go through the entire process itself. So that three years. So I think someone put that in one of the questions as well of how long it took. So three years for us, we consider that quite quick.
in that we were very fortunate along the way that we met an amazing egg donor, an amazing surrogate. Although we were delayed by some of the lockdown restrictions, we think that was a pretty quick turnaround to have done that in three years from when we first joined. Good point. Yeah, and I’d say that’s a reasonable timeframe. So some people have to question if they’re prepared for that. So the Facebook group, Leela’s asked the ASC, Australian Surrogacy Community, and there’s a link for that in that further reading section.
How did you meet Beth then? Did you do a post, an introduction post, and she comment on it, or you met her to catch up? How did it start? So we did our introductory post about six months before we started speaking to Beth. So she had joined ASE after us. So our introductory post would have been a long way down the feed by the time Beth joined in. But thankfully, Beth had done posts and we’d been commenting, and then we started chatting online, predominantly with Daniel, my husband’s far better.
at being friendly online and friendly in general is the nice one. Which is fine by me. Him and Beth first started chatting and then Beth sought permission to private message. At the time, Daniel and I were actually in, coming from Bali or Thailand, we were overseas at the time. We were just chatting online and then we were able to catch up once we were back in Australia. We started doing some catch-ups and then formed an amazing friendship from there.
So we surrogate dated for about six months before Beth officially offered to be our surrogate. Beautiful, and so for those who are new, that’s often the way it goes. You might, a surrogate might tentatively offer and say, I’d like to be your surrogate, but I want to get to know you for six months before we start counseling and legals. And then among the surrogates, it’s often a bit of a moment, it’s a bit like a proposal, I suppose. Sometimes they do funny things or come up with ideas of ways of officially offering
joyful fun moment. It’s very much like a relationship. You start casually seeing a number of people and then you become sort of exclusively seeing one person before you officially offer to be the surrogate. So it’s very much like a relationship. Absolutely and I think for surrogates too we often once we start chatting to IPs that we feel really strongly for we then don’t want them to be you know hook up
And so that’s why surrogates often offer quite quickly because we want to let the IPs know, no, no, I want you, but then let’s still take time to get to know each other. So that’s often a good way to do it. And for IPs too, if a surrogate does offer to you, would you give that advice that just because a surrogate offers quickly does, as IPs, do you think it’s value in spending time to get to know the surrogate as well before rushing in?
you know, catching up and getting to know each other for several weeks before we went, before we went just the two, just us as officially sorority and not seeing other surrogates or her seeing other IPs. We went steady for a while. That was the word I was trying to come up with. So at that point, you know, we weren’t talking to other surrogates at the time anyway, there’s, you know, it’s difficult to find them anyway, but, but Beth also wasn’t.
talking to other OPs. So while it wasn’t official that we were doing surrogacy or starting the process, that we were making that commitment to get to know each other with the intention of going into a surrogacy arrangement. So that gave us time to go through this, the list of questions. I believe you’ve written those questions as well, the topics to discuss prior to- I’m not going to click on each of them. I-
from the people who have written them. We’ve got the information. Yeah, so we went through that list over a number of drinks one night and we had to repeat, go over them again once we forgot a number of them. But it was a way of making sure that we went through everything together. We were a really open and honest team. So we made sure we discussed everything in quite depth, which is why we needed the alcohol to get through it all because it was a long process.
So we built that relationship, but also went through to make sure that we were on the same page and we had similar expectations and ideas about what a relationship and what sorority would look like and how the process would go together. Good, it sounds very thorough from your team there. So how about we answer a few questions and we sort of weave in the rest of your story as it goes there.
I’ll just do one here. Tina’s asked for eligibility. Should it be your IVF doctor or GP? So Tina, I’m assuming you’re a woman. It has to be your IVF doctor. Your GP might not know your full fertility history and as to whether or not you’re eligible or not. And it’s ultimately the IVF clinics that give you permission for surrogacy. So if you’ve already got an IVF doctor, you need something written from them at some point in time. Well, that’s if you’re with SASS, but still ultimately they have to approve you. So I hope that answers that one there.
Tyson, could you try and answer this one? Is there merit in pursuing local and international surrogacy at the same time or should IPs focus on one channel? So my perspective would be to focus on one because that shows that that’s what you’re committed to doing. I think it’s difficult for a surrogate to show a commitment to you in wanting to get to know you and surrogate you if they’re aware that you’re also looking at other options or you’re considering going overseas as well. That’s just my opinion.
I’m not saying that that’s the way you’d have to do it. But yeah, I would focus on one and put your attention into that. I’d agree with that. It’s a lot of energy to do either one, a lot of time commitment. And it wouldn’t be best practice to have an Australian surrogate pregnant and an international surrogate pregnant. An Australian surrogate probably wouldn’t do that for you. She wants to be the focus of your attention. Any surrogate would be.
And we know a lot of our friends have gone through international surrogacy as well. It’s not a wait. So it’s not like you’re pursuing both at the same time. If you’re going with commercial surrogacy, it happens relatively quickly. So you might not be still looking at doing Australian surrogacy at the same time, because once you’re started that process overseas, it’s difficult to then say, oh, actually, we’ll stop that. We’ll start surrogating for six months and see how we go. Yeah, fair point. So sometimes overseas surrogacy can be more expensive.
but sometimes Australian surrogacy can blow out too, is one question here for planning, how much would you expect the financial commitment to be? I could roughly answer that. Tyson, is that a number you’re comfortable sharing? Well, I can share our exact number. I went through my spreadsheet and updated it today, so I can give you the exact figure of what we spent. However, that’s our journey, ours is different. So bear with me while I find it. $75,934.21.
You are thorough. I’m very thorough. I’ve got spreadsheets for everything. But like I said, that was ours. I am posting the process chart in the chat now, which is the one that I’ve written that sort of covers what you expect it to cost in the timelines as well. While ours, that’s what we spent. It would be, every team is different. There are some things that you would spend more than what we did.
For example, we had to do two rounds of IVF for egg collection. They’re quite expensive, about 10,000 per cycle. So the fact that we needed to add it to those costs whereas others might not need to or might already have those. So that’s a different aspect of the journey. So it’s different for every team. Everyone has their own path and the different costs associated with that. Also different surrogates have different expenses as well. That’s not…
to weigh one against the other. That’s just, if you’ve got a surrogate that’s interstate and you’re planning to visit them regularly, that’s gonna have different costs. Our surrogate Beth used to live 500 meters around the corner and now only lives 10 minutes around the road. So for us travel to see and spend time with her wasn’t really a factor. But there are others that are hours away or interstate that makes different factors. So have a look at the process chart because it’s a varied amount in terms of how much it costs and how long it takes as well.
Absolutely, and I can vouch for this process, how much efforts Tyson put into creating that. And we consulted and shared our research and data on what we thought the average cost for each stage are. From my data gathering too, and Tyson, I need to send you a link for you to do my survey to add into my data collection, that I would say a range for surrogacy is about 30,000 to 90,000 with an average about your 55 to 60,000.
And again, those at the bottom would be if you’ve already done IVF and you might already have your embryos or you only need one collection cycle. If your surrogate’s local, doesn’t have much or any loss of wages and a fairly smooth pregnancy and it works first embryo transfer versus at the upper end, it would be if you have an interstate surrogate and so you’ve got flights and accommodation there. If you have multiple embryo transfers, if she has quite a bit of loss of wages, that’s when it can go up.
Tyson, did you? Oh, but remembering Tyson’s journey was about three years here, so we didn’t need it all upfront. Did you have a certain amount saved at the beginning before you started? Yeah, we did. We had savings put aside for parts of it, but as you said, that $75,000 or $76,000 we spent was across that whole three years. So it’s different to when you, yeah, different to international surrogacy, which is often…
payment plans along the way at set points. You know, we had different costs at different times for different things. So it was really spread across that three years pretty evenly. Yes. How much did you have saved? I wouldn’t be able to tell you at the time. We would sell, we sold a house during that three years as well. So it wasn’t like we had a set amount of money in the bank at the time. I will say to people, 10,000.
to start with and remember that you’re still earning your wages throughout all of that time. So it depends if you’ve got the embryos made or not. Yeah, good. That’s a good guide there. Thank you for answering that one. Leela’s asked, is Australian Surrogacy Group free to join in Facebook for Intended Parents? Yes, it is. Is there still about a thousand people or so in that group? I would say I’ll go with yes, I haven’t checked. But there’s also state-run groups as well.
Me and myself, I’m in Victoria. So we also in the Victorian Surrey Group as well. This is the Victorian Surrey Community. And I believe each state, I don’t know if every state, but most states at least would have their own group as well that goes with that. Because that helps particularly for the local catch-ups, which are probably the most important part of being in those groups is those local catch-ups. It is, yep. And if you can’t make it to a local catch-up, because you might be regional, remember we’ve got our Zoom catch-ups that you could attend to. So Brett and Rachel, there you go.
2.2, that’s not uncommon. I used to be admin of that group. And when a roll call comes around, about a thousand members are not active at any one time. So you have to be comfortable with being in a group that large, because who’s looking and reading. But most people are there with the right intention. So a question here from Ben. So transfer of parentages is it about, no, is it at six weeks? Do the IPs take the baby home once that completes or do you set up at home after leaving hospital?
Yeah, so we’re doing that at the moment. We’re at six weeks today. We don’t even have a birth certificate that’s been issued to us yet. So it’s longer than six weeks. It’s six to 12 weeks minimum. You do take the baby home from the hospital though. We were with London from the moment she was born. So we stayed with her in the hospital. She was there, as I said earlier, for five days, but our surrogate was there for one night after. So she was born on the Wednesday.
birthday Wednesday night and she was released the next day or the next evening for her to go home as well. And then once London was dismissed from hospital, she went to our house. So Daniel and I were with her from the moment she was born. So even though our name wouldn’t be on the birth certificate, even though that’s done online later anyway, she’s with us the whole time. And the hospital are really good with that. As long as you’ve got everything done beforehand and you’ve informed everyone, then absolutely.
That was an easy part of it in that regard. But we won’t have a Medicare card for her for some time because we have to wait for the parentage order. So there are some difficulties, but we make it through. Wonderful. And Ben, that’s a real reminder, and for Tyson and I too, these are the classic questions that people ask at the beginning. And so we’re glad that we can be here for you to feel comfortable to ask that question. So thank you for asking it. So if anybody else has got a question like that.
that you’re not sure about, please ask and you can click anonymous if you’d prefer. So Ben has asked this question, Tyson, then what’s the hardest part of the process so far? Well, so I’m going to go with different stages because at the very beginning, as we just disjoined in December 2018 and we were in the group looking for a surrogate for about seven months before we even started speaking to Bef-el surrogate now. So
it’s a really difficult part then thinking that you’re actually going to find that surrogate and having the longevity be able to continue going with that hope that you will find that surrogate because there are people in the group that have joined at the same time we did and before us that are still a part of the group and still trying to find that surrogate. And it doesn’t happen for everyone. So it is challenging to keep going through that and hoping that that will work for you. We were really fortunate that
seven months in that we were able to make that connection with Beth and that was really good. But it’s also about, it’s tricky when you’re watching other people go through that process as well and matching and being really happy for other people and friends of yours that or people you’ve met along the way and encouraging them on their journey. It can often feel like you’re at competition with other IPs in that group. As Anna said earlier, there’s a significant amount more IPs than surrogates. So it’s
Sometimes it can be felt like you’re in competition with others when you’re not, you’re there to support each other. And that can be tricky as well. In terms of the whole process, I think for us, we weren’t able to spend as much time with our surrogate as we would have wanted to, particularly during our lockdowns being in Melbourne, that was really challenging. Although we were able to see her because of exceptional circumstances being that we were going through surrogacy,
I was working in a high-risk environment. So I also didn’t want potentially to be exposing her. So I think for us, it was, we came together because we lived close to each other and we became really good friends and we wanted to spend time together. So not being able to spend that quality time together throughout it was probably the hardest thing for us. COVID restrictions there and also at the beginning to how do you maintain hope? Have you got any advice on that one then? How do you stay positive?
when you see other people finding a surrogate before you? The biggest thing that got us through is making friends with other IPs and being a part of that community with others. We’re still really good friends with a number of the IPs that we met at our very first catch-up. At our very first catch-up we became friends with a number of surrogates as well that have been surrogates to other people, not with the intention of trying to hope that they would also be our surrogate but just in the fact that they were really lovely people who were also
gave us such amazing information. So we were really lucky, our very first catch up, Amanda, who some of you may have met, and as I said, was running the Zoom on Friday night. She was at our first catch up, but that was actually an egg donation Australia catch up that we went to, because at the time we was also looking for an egg donor. And we were with her for most of the day and got to know her really well. And she helped us by just giving us all this information and heaps of advice. And that became really good for us. And we were able to…
stay close with her, which is really nice. Excellent. Yeah, so that advice there, try not to come in with the goal of just finding a surrogate, come in with the goal of making friends, both IPs and surrogates, because they’re gonna help you on your journey. Like the example Tyson gave about how they got the idea of a birth present for Beth, they got that idea from having made friends with other IPs. So come in from that and value the wisdom of those that have gone before you, I suppose,
come in thirsty to learn from them. Because then you get people like Tyson now who are at the other end and I guess like to help and contribute. I’ve got my couple of questions for you Tyson. So on that, in terms of your contributions, so you’ve contributed to the process chart and then gathering a few of us together to film this video and to splice it up. What’s your motivator for doing those things? So the service is a community and I don’t just say that as the Facebook group, it is actually a community of people
with the same intentions of being able to push it forward. So I think the biggest thing for Daniel and I was not just to have the intention of joining that group, just to find a surrogate, have a baby and then move on. It’s to be a part of the community, not just for us, but to help others as well, to be an advocate for surrogacy and move it forward, to support others moving through the process. And then also hopefully making that process somewhat easier for the people coming after us as well. We’ve spoken to people that were
that helped us along the way when we first joined and it was harder even more for them because they were the pioneers doing it before. It was a big, biggest thing as it is at the moment. And they’ve helped advocate for it to get to the point now where there are a larger amount of people going through surrogacy in Australia. So I’m hoping that us doing it and us helping advocate for it can help improve surrogacy in the future as well. Yep, and I agree with that too. So that…
have more awareness, have more doctors, lawyers, counselors aware, hopefully price points come down in the future and just that more people in your friends and family, I suppose, become more aware of that this is an option to have a family and that’s normal, it’s just another way. Yeah. Beautiful. And so then as I mentioned as well, so that Tyson’s team was a SASS team. So I guess my question to you then Tyson is, what is the biggest advantage that you found from being a SASS team?
One of the things we learnt and we’ve heard from other people who’ve gone through surrogacy is it can be a very isolating experience. You know, you have counsellors come and go because once they’ve done their counselling, they forget about you. You have fertility specialists, but once they’ve done the transfer, you don’t see or hear from them again. You have midwives that come and go. And although they’re amazing, they’re there for their purpose to feel their job as a part of it. And there’s no one there to oversee a project, manage the whole thing. You’re left to do that on your own.
Whereas when Daniel and I were going through it, we had Anna holding our hand and guiding us through the whole way to make sure that each step we were doing, we knew what we were doing next. And even if it was just someone else to talk to to make sure we were doing it right, or it was also really helpful if you needed a counselor, you needed a psychologist, it was to have those lists of people who were doing it, who knew what surrogacy was like and have done that before. That was really helpful because yeah, there are lots of people that will be involved in your surrogacy journey.
no one will be there from the start to the finish other than you. So to have someone else there with you helping you along the way is really helpful. Thank you that’s lovely to hear. So yeah you don’t have to do it alone and having somebody there and that’s done it I suppose too is can be helpful. Thank you for sharing that one. So we’ve got here James and Ian have a question here and then we might um nearly wrap it up for the evening. So they thank you for the for the webinar for the information and for sharing our stories.
So they currently live in London. Welcome for joining. Thank you for making the effort of joining us. I wonder what your time is there. So they are Australian and plan to move back to Melbourne in a few years. They have a friend willing to donate eggs in Melbourne. Do you think it would be possible for us to go through this process remotely? So Tyson, was your egg donor in Melbourne? Do you think how this could be done? So we went into our sorority journey looking for an egg donor. We ended up finding an egg donor that was actually a known,
known to us already. They were a friend of Daniel’s who went to school with Daniel who had been an egg donor for others. And then we rekindled that friendship and she became a friend of ours as well. So we were all in Melbourne. However, we did our egg collection in Queensland. We all flew up to Queensland at the time. Victoria had different rebate laws and Medicare changes that wouldn’t allow gay couples and things to do with egg collections. It does now. So you don’t need to worry about that moving forward. But at the time, that wasn’t the case. It was
It was more economic for us to fly us, our egg donor, our egg donor’s daughter up to Queensland. We spent a whole week up there and we went to the theme parks and did everything. And we also did an egg collection and we did that twice. And that was what worked for us. So in terms of doing an egg collection while you’re in London, you would need to obviously come back to Australia to do the egg collection. You can’t just, obviously you need to donate and do your part of as well, because it’s not just taking the eggs, it’s making embryos. So you need to physically be there.
or at least one of you would need to physically be there to do your part of the embryo creation as well, because it does take two parts. Unless they do sperm shipping, I’m not sure. See, I don’t know. Having gone through it, I highly doubt a clinic will allow you to do that remotely as in just shipping the sperm without you being there, particularly because it’s for an egg donation. I think it would be difficult to find a fertility clinic that would allow that.
that might be the case, I don’t know. But it was tricky enough for us, and we were able to do it in person. But we did all the counseling and everything online prior to, so that was helpful. Being in Queensland, we didn’t have to go up to Queensland just for the counseling and then come back. We did all of that online, so you would be able to do all of the pre-work online. But that’s something you need to discuss with the IVF clinic or whether that’s something they’d do remotely. In terms of thorough dating,
It is a lot of it is online at the moment. So I’m not saying it wouldn’t work. I think I said it earlier. So I think the most important part of being a part of that community is those catch-ups. So if you’ve got the options to get to those catch-ups, do that and that would be very difficult when you’re in London. So I would certainly join the group because it would help gather that information and possibly be able to do that in show posts as well. But it would be difficult to make a connection with someone when you’re not in the country.
people have done it before. And I think that’s the beauty of these webinars. I think we’re able to answer the vast majority of questions, but then sometimes these individual cases, we’re not able to answer. Just a couple of things that I think of there, back when I was admin of the group, you had to actually live in Australia to be part of that group. So I’m not sure you check the rules of ASC. There are people in the group that are in other countries because we’ve got some from New Zealand and we’re, yeah. If you’re Aussie and you’ve got intentions of coming back, there’s probably flexing. I’m sure you’d be fine. Yeah.
There’s some parts of the process you could do, being in different places, as Tyson was saying, some of the counseling is done by Zoom anyway. So certainly engage with an IVF clinic and start the conversations about the ongoing support of a surrogate. So I guess speaking as a surrogate here, we are paid in time. And there’s a thing called love languages. And if you’re familiar with it or not, and spending time with the people that are going, we’re going to make parents is really important to us and just seeing them and getting help. You know, when
Even things like when you’re really heavily pregnant, making your kids beds, changing the sheets on the bed is a tricky thing to do. Just spending time and hanging out and you developing a bond with our kids because we’re not paid $50,000 to do it. So that is our payment. So commercial surrogates overseas would be fine doing things more long distance and not having you there. I highly doubt an unknown surrogate would do it. But if you already have a friend where you’ve got a connection.
with her and somebody’s willing to do that for you, they might not need it. But if you dig deeper and she starts to think about, oh, what surrogacy is going to involve, she might feel differently. If you do have that surrogate in mind that’s already offered, I’d advise her coming next week to our webinar to hear more about surrogate options there. So I’m not saying it’s a no. And I think finding an egg donor and a surrogate is often one of the largest battles. So if you can make it work, I guess I would encourage you to, you know,
you should come to the webinar next week too boys and hear that. So anybody listening to come along, we’d love to have you there. So Tyson, I suppose to wrap up, have you got any parting advice? And my question to you then is, what have you learned about yourself in some of the hardest times that you’ve gone through in this journey? It wasn’t so much what I learned about myself. I think it’s what Daniel and I learned together. I think we became a lot closer going through it.
and worked out just how much we complement each other in different ways. I’m a very analytical person that likes to tick things off and and can be quite blunt and straightforward in a lot of areas and Daniel’s, as I said earlier, the nice one. So he’s far better at relationships and making sure that everyone’s looked after. He looks after my mental health. He was really good at supporting Beth with her mental health and her journey across the whole thing. He
Sometimes I wasn’t able to do that support. So I think that was something that I learned. It was, you know, about our relationship. I think that’s what- Ladies’ drinks. Yeah. So to speak. And then any parting advice for people listening here tonight? Everyone who’s gone through surrogacy in that community has been in your position before. There’s no difference between what they were like before they were in surrogacy to what you are now.
So don’t see them as people who have just had something different to you. They’re the same. So see that as just your next step in moving forward on your journey. Thank you for joining me. If you’d like to see the photos shared in this webinar presentation, head over to our YouTube channel to watch the webinar. You can head to surrogacyaustralia.org for more information about surrogacy.
Also check out our Zoom monthly catch-up sessions, which are a great way to connect with others in the surrogacy community. Attending a Zoom is scary the first time, but there’s only ever one first time. We have all been beginners at some stage. As we say, it takes a village to raise a child. And in the case of surrogacy, it takes a village to make a child. So welcome to the village.
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