The covid lockdown has forced thousands of gay singles and couples to step off the commuter treadmill, out of jobs as well as a forced separation from the gym, dance floor and even dating apps.
On the upside it has provided time to catch up on the latest Netflix series and put more time into life goals. For an increasing number – single or partnered – this includes planning for family. With foster care and adoption being difficult and uncertain routes for first time parents, many are looking for advice on egg donor IVF and surrogacy options.
There have been plenty of high profile gay men creating families – Elton John, Yottam Ottolenghi, Tom Daley, Ricky Martin, Neil Patrick Harris. But thousands more are average family guys.
When Sydney dads Rees and his partner Brett began their surrogacy journey in 2007, there was little information on options publically available. Unless you knew someone who had gone before you, it was a confusing landscape. Back then surrogacy for gay guys in Australia was unheard of, so Rees and Brett invested in the security of a US arrangement. After being matched with a surrogate, her niece volunteered to be the egg donor. Three boys resulted – Chandler in 2008 and twins Blake and Joel in 2010 (pictured below).
Since Rees and Brett’s journey, many hundreds of gay singles and couples have created family of their own. Many used to create family with the help of surrogates in India, Thailand and even Nepal. With these destinations closed, there are new options to learn about. While matching with a surrogate and egg donor here in Australia has become far more common, many still need to go abroad – to the US, Canada and even Colombia.
Surrogacy arrangements necessitate a lot of moving parts – lawyers, IVF clinics, surrogates, donors, surrogacy professionals, counsellors and increasingly specialist couriers to allow sperm to get to its destination when hopeful parents cannot travel. With laws in this area being confusing, added to the uncertainty of IVF, without careful planning and support there is a lot that can go wrong.
Growing Families is an Australian global non-profit which provides this vital education to help intended parents achieve their dream of family safely with the minimum stress.
As well as customised advice, thousands have benefited from Growing Families webinars and seminars. These feature parents, surrogates, donors, older children via surrogacy and egg donation, medical specialists, counsellors, lawyers, migration experts and global experts in IVF and surrogate recruitment and support.
Three events in November 2020 will bring together 45 such speakers and panelists to provide detailed insights into the processes and pitfalls. If you are considering building family, don’t miss the chance to learn from others who have gone before you.
Full details of the November webinars are available on the Growing Families website.