Growing Families, the global charity which helps intended parents to create and build families through surrogacy or egg/sperm donation, announces a major conference in London.
It will bring together fertility experts from around the world with surrogates, donors, intended parents and families sharing their stories. It will take place at 155 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3YD on 19March, 09.30-18.00.
The event is designed to help intended parents to get the most recent information about best practice, legal issues, cultural, ethical and medical considerations and how to avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs and unscrupulous operators. There will be a combination of key speakers, panels and breakout sessions.
It is the only event of its kind that is fully inclusive; recognising diversity by bringing together the full spectrum of parents and blended families including heterosexual couples, LGBT+ families and sole parents, to share the risks, the joys, the real costs and choices involved in surrogacy and fertility treatments
It will help intended parents navigate difficult journeys by providing clarity about cross-border surrogacy and IVF. It will detail the latest changes in access in the post-Covid landscape, looking at options in North America, Europe and South America. Expert speakers will cover a wide range of topics. Panels of recent UK parents will discuss their experiences.
Who should attend?
The event is a must for those (heterosexual. single or LGBT+) considering egg/sperm donation or surrogacy as well as industry professionals with an interest in infertility or family building options – psychologists, lawyers, IVF specialists, fertility nurses and associated organisations.
It will provide individuals at the start, halfway through, or the end of their journeys an invaluable opportunity to meet others who have trodden this path.
Growing Families has over ten years’ experience and has supported over 3,000 singles and couples engaging in building families through cross-border arrangements. This event will specifically guide intended parents and professionals on:
- Cross border arrangements – LGBT, heterosexual or single
- Which countries are safe and legal to locate an egg donor or surrogate
- The potential pitfalls and travel risks
- What potential costs and risks are involved
- Covid vaccination best practice for donors, surrogates and intended parents
- IVF success rates
- The availability of fixed cost programmes
- Ideal characteristics of donors and surrogates to maximise success
- Sperm and embryo shipping options
- International funds transfer advice
- Information about specialist lawyers, migration agents & clinics
The conference will be hosted by Growing Families (originally called Families Through Surrogacy) and about 25 global surrogacy and fertility experts will be on hand to provide advice and expert opinion. (For full list see website link below)
Some key speakers and subjects:
- Karen Holden, ACityLawFirm.com, UK: contracts, rights and money, domestic or cross border? What when things go wrong?
- Kathryn Kaycoff, The Fertility Agency, US: Key steps: Planning for risks, budgets and chances of success
- Dr Kirsty Horsey, London Egg Bank: The global donor options: Known or anonymous? Proven or unproven? Travelling or in-country? Egg banks or fresh? Race?
- Dr Vicken Sahakian, Pacific Fertility Center,US: Maximising success: egg & sperm quality testing – the latest in Embryo screening and Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
- Megan Hall, Surro Connections, US: Surrogate intended parent matching: The impact of country timing rules, vital screening and impacts
- Michael Marziano and Kirsten Casperson, Westkin Associates, UK: Citizenship & passports for newborns via surrogacy
Breakout sessions will include parents and children of surrogates and main subjects include:
- Children ( young adults) of surrogacy or donation discuss their surrogate and donor relationships, and what they tell their friends about how they came into the world, their sense of self and their relationships
- A panel of women share their experiences about Infertility, grief and moving forwards
- The vagaries of different country surrogacy laws – regulated & unregulated, costs, risks and what’s available – US, Canada, Argentina Albania & Cyprus.
- Focus on Canada and Greece and what can be learned from their altruistic models
- Trust and communication issues with surrogates and donors with a different native language
- Transport of embryos and sperm – costs, rules, success rates and pitfalls
- Cross border surrogacy and what might you be eligible for?
- Insurance, wills, Covid and more – risks and costs
- Discussion from a surrogate perspective (surrogates from the US, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere) regarding exploitation, motivations, needs and relationships with recipients
- Legal parent recognition – overseas versus home, birth certificates, costs and timelines
- Heterosexual and LGBT parents share their experiences in Q&A panels
- Parents discuss bonding with a non-genetic child and revealing origins
Sam Everingham, Growing Families Founder, said
“The global rise in people accessing surrogacy abroad, coupled with the fact that surrogacy law and regulation internationally is evolving in many countries, underscores just how important it is to give people access to the most up-to-date advice possible. We are totally committed to ensuring intended parents embark on these journeys armed with insights that will give them strength and confidence to persevere
I believe we are the first organisation in the world to be concurrently helping heterosexual, LGBT and singles in their quest for a family globally.
We aim to provide practical education that you can’t find elsewhere by bringing experts and individuals together to show what can go right, what can go wrong – and how to get it right”
Free One-on-One consultations
In addition to the keynotes and breakouts, experts will be available during the networking breaks. Many are offering complimentary one on one consultations. These can be booked via the website. Some of these are offering complimentary consultations after the event
For further information and to attend visit: https://www.growingfamilies.org/uk-eu-conference/