My heart goes out to this Australian couple who have just had their babies through surrogacy in Ukraine. Unfortunately, the babies have been born very prematurely and the parents are now trying to manage the care of their twins in a foreign country, negotiating in a language they don’t understand and with medical insurance that apparently hasn’t really covered their current needs. This is probably the worst possible outcome of cross-border surrogacy I could imagine. https://www.facebook.com/7NewsBrisbane/videos/264865640843154/UzpfSTEzMDczNjM3NjkzOTIyMzoyMjEzMTExOTc1MzY4MzA5/
If you value the blogs here, perhaps you would like to visit my Facebook pages containing even more posts and insights related to everything psychology and perinatal https://www.facebook.com/familyandfertilitysupport/
and more specifically, information related to receiving a diagnosis of abnormality during pregnancy https://www.facebook.com/Abnormal-Pregnancy-Decision-Support-Australia-1929996853937509/
We have been patiently waiting to learn the outcome of the legal trial of Tammy Davis-Charles, the Australian nurse who was working in Cambodia arranging surrogacy pregnancies for Australians and other foreign nationals, prior to the Cambodian Government crackdown on the practice late last year. Well, the sentences came down a couple of days ago, and the news is not good for Tammy and her colleagues – each have been fined and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
What will also be interesting in the months to come is the impact of this finding for families considering surrogacy in countries newly emerging into the Asian surrogacy industry such as Vietnam and Laos. Surely, this should be a final nail in the coffin of “cheap” illegal surrogacy? You can read the complete story in this article from the Cambodia Daily newspaper https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/tammy-davis-charles-2-others-handed-18-months-prison-surrogacy-133207/
I was curious to read this article https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/social-life-blog/2016/dec/14/what-social-workers-need-to-know-about-surrogacy published this week about surrogacy in the UK. I was initially rather confronted by the tone of the article – it came across as rather “anti-surrogacy”. Having had a second read though, I can more clearly see the concern expressed by the author about the genuine risks associated with surrogacy… when it is done poorly… or with a cavalier attitude to potential roadblocks or issues.
I do feel that many of the potential problems outlined in the article can be managed when families commit to full engagement in good quality, thorough counselling with a fertility counsellor who truly understands surrogacy, and the associated risks and benefits. So many problems in surrogacy seem to emerge where there has been a “tick box attitude” from either the counsellor or the counselling participants. Unfortunately, the stark reality remains that while we keep fine tuning our processes and “learning our lessons”, children born in the context of poorly considered third party reproduction arrangements are at risk due to (often well intentioned, but poorly informed) adults making bad choices.
The Courier Mail recently interviewed me about the increasing number of patients accessing their superannuation in order to pay for IVF. Would you believe that last year, there were 13,476 applications from Australian patients wanting to access their superannuation on medical compassionate grounds (including fertility treatment? 34 per cent (4707) were from Queensland, resulting in 3359 approvals, worth more than $48 million – an average of $14,361 per person. You can read the story herehttp://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/thousands-of-queenslanders-given-early-access-to-superannuation-on-medical-compassionate-grounds/news-story/83c85ea9a9de456a87bffed49cb3bfd4
I am so pleased to be able to post a good news story about surrogacy that has made it to the media. This is a great story about family coming together to help complete a couple’s dream of becoming parents http://www.liverpoolchampion.com.au/story/3898017/it-was-an-absolute-honour/
The following article presents an interesting perspective of the dangers of finding embryos and eggs online, suggesting that by the time childless families reach their mandatory donor counselling at the ART clinics, they are already so emotionally invested, it is difficult to change their minds when misgivings surface.
VARTA established these seminars some years ago and they are an outstanding resource for families unsure of how to talk to their children born through third party reproduction.
This seminar provides tips on how, when and what to communicate so that parents are empowered and children feel enriched by the unique way in which they came into this world. Speakers including counsellors, parents from different family constellations, donors and donor-conceived young people, provide insight and advice on all aspects of talking to children about becoming a family with the help of using donated eggs, sperm embryos or a surrogate to create a family.
This year’s workshop will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016, and if you’re interested, book soon as the sessions are always incredibly popular. For more information, or to register, go to VARTA‘s website