How to Find a Surrogate
G’day everyone. It’s Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers. Today I’m talking about finding a surrogate.
This is a question that I often get asked by clients. How do you actually find a surrogate?
Well, the first thing is, evidently, ask. Now, in other videos, you’ve heard me say, Well, for every child born in Australia, there are three born overseas via surrogacy. These are Australian kids, and more Australian kids are born via surrogacy in the United States than they are in Australia. Obviously, a way that you can find a surrogate is going overseas. Now, that has a whole series of complications, including legal complications. And it’s more expensive than doing it home.
If you can do it at home, I suggest to do it at home. So the first way is to try and find a surrogate here. How do you do it? Well, there are offences in each state and the ACT against advertising, so it’d be good to be careful with those, but it is possible to go on a website and have a look.
There are Facebook groups where you can find surrogates. Surrogacy Australia has a Surrogacy Australia support service. This is a not-for-profit matching service to match you and a surrogate. Sadly, for every surrogate available, there are many more intended parents.
So the way I suggest is just to ask. A friend of mine who’s been a fertility counsellor for, I believe, over 30 years, Miranda Montrone in Sydney has said, “Well, it’s like a ripple in a pond. You drop the pebble and it ripples out. Ask someone, and if people know that you want to have a child, someone will come back to you.”
She’s done research that shows most surrogates in Australia are not found on the web, and obviously, you can find them on the web. Most of them are friends and family, sometimes strangers. But this is a case of asking. And I want to give two examples where this has happened. I’ve had recently two couples who tried to look, they weren’t very successful, in fact, weren’t successful and said, “Oh, look, we can’t find someone. So we’re going to go overseas.” And they decide to go overseas.
Well, there were problems. In one case, the surrogate said, “See you later. As much as I’d like to sign the contract and help you become parents, I’ve decided to get married and my life has taken a different direction. As a result, I’m not going to be a surrogate.”
So you can imagine the Australian couple were pretty upset and devastated about that. And so they told friends. The next thing you know, the woman came forward and said, “Hello, I’d like to be your surrogate.”
So this is the very ripple effect that Miranda was talking about. Drop the pebble. Oh, my God. All this drama that we’ve been through, and then as a result of which, someone comes forward.
And the second case was even more amazing, the couple had signed a deal overseas with a surrogate, and things just didn’t go right. She had a miscarriage, had trouble getting pregnant, and they’d looked for a surrogate here. They hadn’t had much luck, and they just felt crushed by it. And so I’d help them on this journey all the way to this point. And they gave me that news and I thought, “Oh, life is rough there’s poor people. Life is so rough.”
And then about three weeks later, I get an email. “Guess what? We’ve got a surrogate.”
Sorry, you’ve gone overseas because you couldn’t find anyone here. And as a result of which, you went through this journey, you got to this really rough point, and then you couldn’t. And then someone has come out of the blue. Yes. How did that happen?
Well, let me tell you about the difference between men and women. One of the differences between men and women is, well, men generally don’t have much hair. In my case, less than many people. When I go and get my hair cut, it’s quick, in and out. Women, on the other hand, often spend considerably longer at the hairdresser and chat with the hairdresser.
And women often get other beauty treatments. In this case, and some men do, but generally not much. But women do. And as a result, this client of mine was going to get her nails done. And she’s talking to the beautician and telling her all the pain that she’d been through.
At which point the beautician said to her, “I’ll be your surrogate.” This is how it happened. It came straight out of the blue. I will be your surrogate. And they started a chat and bond.
And this is how my clients found their surrogate. Completely unexpected. You may think it can never happen here. I can tell you it can and has happened. So ask. It’s not normally as quick as that. Normally, I would suggest it would take a couple of years.
But go and talk to your clinic. Go and ask people in your community. If you’re a member of the rainbow community, like I am asked people in your community. Obviously, if you’re a gay guy and you mention it to other gay couples, they may know someone. A lesbian friend, for example, who can be your surrogate. This happens in unexpected ways. And if you’re able to do it here, then you will save yourself an extraordinary journey overseas by doing it locally. Good luck.