Carrying a child for those who cannot carry a pregnancy is an extraordinary gift and much needed in Australia. If you decide to be a surrogate, Surrogacy Australia can often support you through the process.
The ideal surrogate has a generous spirit, compassion, and dedication to helping other people become parents and so change their lives forever. Your willingness to help allows intended parents to engage in surrogacy here in Australia rather than overseas.
Being a surrogate is a big commitment. There is much to consider and plenty of emotion. You will need the support of your family and clear information about the process and implications before you decide to go ahead.
We can help you to understand the implications of becoming a surrogate so that you can reach a decision about whether surrogacy is for you.
Finding the right intended parents to work with
Until recently, Australian surrogates had to find intended parents independently, or by posting through online forums or word-of-mouth referral from other surrogates.
Surrogacy Australia Support Service launched in 2019 as an initiative of Surrogacy Australia to assist both surrogates and intended parents to engage domestically.
We are a professionally-run charity with a team whose work (and passion) is to give surrogates and intended parents the best possible support every step of the way.
Deciding who you want to help
There are many different kinds of families who need the help of a surrogate:
- couples and single women who have had unsuccessful fertility treatment, or whose family-building plans have been thwarted by cancer or other medical issues
- women born without a womb
- gay couples and singles who have always known they would need help.
Some may have children already. Some are coming to child-rearing later in life. Some have spoken to families and friends about their decision while others have not. They will all have different personalities, priorities, and views on issues which might be important to your journey. How these dynamics may influence your relationship with your intended parents, and what impact this will have on your own family is important.
Our role is to help you find the right intended parents to work with, and to support you at every step. We take this very seriously and want to make sure that you are fully supported. Some of that support will come from us, but it will also come from the other professionals you will come into contact with and your friends and family.
Helping someone you already know
You may want to help someone you already know – perhaps a friend, family member or work colleague. You will already know their personality and how well you get on, which is a great head start. It is still important to talk in-depth about your relationship and how things will work logistically and day-to-day. If you are thinking of helping a friend or family member we can help you with our surrogacy support service and provide guidance on the issues to think about, the process, relevant laws and support in calculating expenses.
What SASS can do for you
SASS starts by having a detailed discussion with you about your background and your needs. We will step you through what the surrogacy process involves, answer your questions and make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether this is right for you. We will meet with you, and your partner if you have one, via video conference and/or face-to-face.
We provide you with professional surrogacy preparation counselling (together with your partner if relevant). We help you understand the treatment that you will undergo as well as what happens once you are pregnant and ensuring that your hospital where you give birth understands the special circumstances of your delivery. You will have the opportunity to speak to one of our experienced surrogates about their journey and what to expect and then be a part of our surrogate community online as well as getting to know other surrogates going through their journey.
We will discuss all your concerns and questions, and get to know you. Once you are ready, we can introduce you to pre-screened intended parents that understand how surrogacy works and how you need to be supported.
Our screening process is a key part of our service, and it takes into account not just practicalities such as your views on termination and your expenses compared to your IPs, but much more.
Having got to know you (and the intended parents we work with) we share the profile information of intended parents with you who are more likely to meet your needs.
With your agreement, we can also share your profile with potential intended parents which you may be interested in. If you both want to meet, we will facilitate a meeting and give you support in getting to know each other and establishing a relationship based on mutual trust, respect and friendship for as long as is needed.
You will need to think through what kind of relationship you want to have with your intended parents, and have an open and honest dialogue about what you expect for the conception, pregnancy and beyond. There are lots of issues for you to discuss and it is critical that you take the time to get to know your intended parents so that key issues are explored and any discrepancies are identified and considered. Our job is to guide, steady and support you.
Australian law does not allow us, even as a charity, to negotiate the specific terms of your surrogacy agreement, but we will give you guidance and information to help you work out the terms of your agreement and to put this in writing.
Once your agreement is in place, we will support you all throughout the journey. It also means we are there at every step to give encouragement, reassurance, and support whenever needed, and continuing to facilitate the communication between you to help you deal with any issues that arise.
Being a surrogate is a wonderful offer, and you don’t need to navigate the process alone.