Surrogacy

Surrogacy offers some people the very best chance of creating the family they’ve always dreamed of. At Monash IVF, we can guide and support you through this complex process.

What is surrogacy?

In a surrogacy arrangement, a woman carries and gives birth to a child for the intended parent or parents.

Solo-mothers-by-choice, solo-fathers-by-choice, heterosexual couples, same-sex couples and people who identify as gender diverse - provided they each meet certain criteria - may choose to pursue surrogacy as an option.

Common questions

How does surrogacy work?

Surrogacy treatment involves the implantation of an embryo into the surrogate (the carrier of the baby) in an attempt to achieve a pregnancy. The embryo may be created using:

  • the sperm and/or eggs of the intended parents
  • donor sperm or eggs
  • a combination of the above

This process is called gestational surrogacy, and is the most common form of surrogacy arrangement in Australia.

In a traditional surrogacy arrangement, a surrogate carries a baby formed using her own egg. It is important to note that traditional surrogacy is not legal in all states of Australia, so you should consult your fertility specialist or the Monash IVF Surrogacy Team about state-specific legislation.

What are the reasons people may consider surrogacy?

If you have a medical condition that makes it impossible or unsafe for you to carry a pregnancy or give birth, surrogacy may help you realise your dream of having a baby.

The reasons for surrogacy may include:

  • an inability to conceive
  • being unable to safely carry a pregnancy or give birth
  • the risk of conceiving a child affected by a genetic condition or disorder
  • the risk of conceiving a child who is unlikely to survive a pregnancy or birth
  • the risk of conceiving a child whose health may be significantly affected by a pregnancy or birth

Who can enter into a surrogacy arrangement?

Prior to entering into a surrogacy arrangement, all parties should be reviewed by a fertility specialist to ensure it is medically suitable for them to participate in surrogacy treatment. Monash IVF has some additional guidelines for a surrogacy arrangement which include:

  • age considerations for the surrogate and the intended parent/s
  • the intended parents have sought independent legal advice regarding their surrogacy arrangement
  • the surrogate has a proven fertility history and has ideally given birth to a live child
  • the surrogate and her partner (where applicable) have ideally completed their own family
  • the intended parent/s and their surrogate are known to each other. Unfortunately, we cannot recruit a surrogate for you.

How do I find a surrogate?

All surrogates are people who are known to the intended parent/s, and may be a family member, friend or someone they have been recently introduced to through other means.

Keep in mind - it’s illegal to advertise for a surrogate in some states of Australia. Under Australian law, your surrogate can’t receive any material benefit or advantage from your surrogacy arrangement. While you can’t pay them, you can reimburse your surrogate for the costs directly related to your surrogacy arrangement.

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The surrogacy treatment process

Initial consultation with a fertility specialist

An initial consultation will include both the intended parents and the surrogate. In it, your fertility specialist will discuss your medical history in detail. They’ll also order some tests to be completed, and walk you through possible treatment options. If required, your specialist will talk you through donor egg or donor sperm as potential avenues.

In certain states, the surrogate and the intended parent/s may need to have an independent obstetric and/or psychiatric assessment. Rest assured—we’ll let you know any additional requirements like this well in advance.

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The surrogacy treatment process

Surrogacy counselling

Counselling is an important part of any surrogacy arrangement.

Before you enter into a surrogacy arrangement with Monash IVF, we require the intended parent/s and the surrogate (and her partner) to attend mandatory counselling sessions. In these sessions, you’ll discuss the social and psychological implications of the surrogacy process.

Your counsellor will decide how many sessions are required. Surrogacy arrangements are complex, so they will usually recommend multiple sessions to ensure all parties have clear expectations and boundaries.

Certain states require you to see an independent psychologist for an impartial assessment. We can provide you with details of psychologists experienced in these types of assessments, but you’re more than welcome to choose your own psychologist if you’d prefer.

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The surrogacy treatment process

Legal advice

In order to begin surrogacy treatment through Monash IVF, you need to provide us with a ‘letter of advice’ from your lawyer. This letter must confirm that all parties have received independent legal advice, and that they understand their rights and obligations.

Looking to get started?

We recommend you book a chat with our Monash IVF Surrogacy Team. They’ll walk you through the process in detail and answer any questions you may have.

We’re here to help in any and every way we can.

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