Surrogacy Agencies and Advisors You Should Avoid


Choosing the surrogacy agency is a complicated, tricky and confusing process. Everyone claims to be the most professional, trustworthy, successful and caring.  Distinguishing such claims from the reality is a hard task for parents. How should they know who is actually on top?

Apart from a number of active surrogacy agencies on internet,  there is a noticeable amount of free and charitable surrogacy advisors. Intended parents use their services with expectation to receive valuable and reliable advices. However, not everyone is to trust. Hardly ever is there something literally free and charitable in the business world. After precise observations and explorations, we have figured out the real motivation of several businesses. In this post, we are going to mention surrogacy agencies and advisors, parents should avoid collaborating with.


Men Having Babies

Ron Poole-Dayan, the founder of “Men having babies” is a Jewish man, currently living in New York. He himself, has experienced the joy of parenthood through surrogacy. “Men Having Babies” provides advising to prospective parents, hosts workshops and conferences in different cities – everything free of charge. The organization is supposed to be non-profitable and even raises funds for gay parents, willing to participate in a surrogacy program. Why should someone consider not to collaborate with a charitable organization, expressing such a strong will to help and encourage parents in need?  – because the reality is controversial.   On annual conferences, “Men having babies” hosts surrogacy agencies and clinics, offering and selling sponsorship packages to them. What is even more important, conferences can be attended only by the agencies and clinics, that have a referral based agreement with Ron Poole-Dayan.

To explain simply, referral based agreement means that “Men Having  Babies” receives a commission every time they redirect patients to a partnered surrogacy agency or clinic. The amount of commission fee is defined by the price of service – higher the price, better the commission. “Men Having Babies” is proved to direct parents to clinics and agencies that are ready to pay the highest commission fees.

The popular case was when “Men Having Babies” refused to admit one of the prestigious surrogacy agencies “New Life Global” to their conference.  “New Life”-s price for surrogacy package in Georgia is about 28 000 USD, allowing the agency to pay 1 000 USD for a reference. “Manor Medical Group”, is another agency offering surrogacy packages  for 75 000 USD in Georgia. Their income, allows “Manor Group” to pay as much as 10 000 USD for a reference.  In 2017, “Men Having Babies” hosted a conference in Israel and “Manor Group” has become their gold sponsor.

The idea of getting a free, valuable and reliable  advice on such a sensitive matter sounds appealing. However, think in a long term perspective before you turn for advice to Ron. It will definitely be painful to realize that the charitable organization you trusted the most, is actually oriented on their commission. Genuinely charitable organization, would approach each parent’s issue individually and  would do everything possible to honestly offer only the most qualitative, reliable and cost effective options.

With “Men Having Babies”,  free advice could  cost you tons of extra money later.

Mariam Kukunashvili , Co Founder of New Life Global shares her experience on Facebook :

‘’Out of sudden, Ron , the head of Men Having Babies, refused our application saying that New Life has unethical approach to the surrogate mothers as we pay them their compensations with 6 weeks delay from baby delivery ( as soon as DNA test result is ready which is fair enough towards both parties ) and that New Life existence in Cambodia ,Kenya or Mexico is against ethical standards they set. Anyone who has ever been in touch with New Life are very much aware that parents and surrogate mothers are having direct contracts and contractual obligations to each other including the payment terms, and New Life never makes any transfers to the surrogate mothers. With blaming New Life for not paying the surrogate mother’s right away ( instead of 6 weeks) Ron and his company indirectly insulted all our parents who very responsibly and in timely manner fulfill their financial or any other obligation towards their surrogate mothers.

Once New Life reviewed the attendee list of the conference it became crystal clear why New Life was not desired to attend. In the list we could find only US agencies exhibiting, or the countries who do not welcome LGBT community for surrogacy programs or those ones, who sell their packages 40 000 USD more then New Life does. The whole conference was not held for the interests of the Intended Parents who are eager to find most affordable and reputable IVF clinics and agencies to perform the programs and fulfill their longed dream to become parents. The organizers knew very well that if New Life attended the conference the expensive Agencies( and consequently Ron) would not benefit and parents would not tend to them, when they would have indeed most affordable, reputable, honest, diverse and ethical company like New Life Global Network as an ultimate option.

Man Having babies have been around for a few years and of course it’s a profit business and not a volunteer organization! They aim for the gay market and their programs are very expensive. They market for wealthy clients and they’re not going to consider affordable programs. New Life is their competitor and therefore they attack our programs and use any angle they can find. New Life felt obliged to bring this information for the Intended Parents to inform them that it’s useless to attend Man Having babies conference, if they are not ready to pay hundreds of thousand dollars. We do believe that in so called ‘’ Ethical Business’’ intended parents must be provided with options and their freedom of choice must be respected. ‘’


Families Through Surrogacy

Similarly to Ron, Sam Everingham is a successful surrogacy dad. His organization’s target audience, apart from Australia, now includes European gay parents too. Families Through Surrogacy is supposed to provide free and trustworthy consultation for future parents. In reality, a number of surrogacy agencies and clinics can confirm how high is the commission fee Sam asks them for. Pretty much like “Men Having Babies”,  this advising organization offers parents the least cost effective options, bringing them the highest commission.

There was a page on Facebook, where parents and agencies shared their negative experiences with “Families Through Surrogacy”. Unfortunately, the reality is still unknown for the majority of inexperienced intended parents. Our aim is to protect them from losing a solid amount of money, while searching for a charitable organization for  a free and honest advice.

Successful surrogacy gay parents share their experience with “Families Through Surrogacy” on social media :

‘’Sam runs a page called families through surrogacy and this is who hosts. He is a dodgy dodgy man and tries to syringe money out of everyone. There is a story about a certain person here in Sydney who was asked to come and speak at the conference, and then told they had to pay 10k for the privilege!

I had a massive falling out with sam over nepal as I was one of the first people to contact Tammuz and MTN about their packages and try to piece it all together in a document for all the other interested IP out there. After talking with tammuz at length, and being confused, Sam offered to work out a plan for my nepal journey at $250/hr consultation – and I found out he knew nothing about nepal, and had not even had his phone conversation with tammuz who was the main agent there.. he was advertising he was an expert when I knew more than he did.

After that we didn’t speak to him again.

He chases down clients, infiltrates all the groups and gets contact info without permission from his sources and contacts people to assist them for a fee.

Yes, anyone who attends his conferences have to pay even if they are the speakers.

He has had a lot of dealings with Megan sainsbury and the like and created massive controversies for taking her money and allowing her to set up a booth at his conference, and he pushing her despite her history and the outrage by the surrogacy community at him doing this.

During the whole Thailand saga him and partner Phillip said they are going to the media and actually stated they did not care that the surrogacy community was opposed to it….they said they wanted to and would do it. He is BIG on media and always emailing people privately to get them to talk to tv programs, radio, newspapers and journalists…he is very widely hated in the circles. ‘’ Writes one Australian successful surrogacy Parent.

”If you ask me it’s an article instigated by Sam Everingham – he’s been ‘interviewed’ in each of the three negative articles in that paper this year – and I suspect he’s the source – he’s no friend of surrogacy’’ Writes another Australian successful surrogacy parent


Successful Parents Ukraine

In 2009, Olga Tsisarenko started working at a surrogacy agency in Ukraine. There she had the opportunity the learn about the field of fertility. In 2010, when she was fired from her job for appropriating company’s funds, she gradually founded “Successful Parents Ukraine”. On webpage, Olga claims that her agency exists since 2003. As a proof of her honesty, Olga provides a document, which states that the company was indeed established 2003. However, this document has nothing to do with surrogacy or successful parent agency.

A number of attempts to deceive patients have lead Olga to being blocked by UK Fertility Forum. What she did, was to register on forum as if she were a successful surrogacy parent and wrote positive reviews about her wonderful experience with “Successful Parents Ukraine.” All of the reviews and comments were posted from the same Ukrainian IP address. There are a  lot of successful stories on internet that are associated with Olga’s agency – with the minority of them being real. Faking information, photos and testimonials has become “Successful Parents Ukraine’s” way to catch inexperienced infertile couples.


Manor Medical Group

Manor Medical Group first appeared on surrogacy market in 2012. At first, it was explicitly oriented on offering surrogacy treatment for Jewish couples through Georgia. Gradually, “Manor Medical Group” suggested surrogacy options in Ukraine and since 2015, they are already offering programs in both countries to all the future parents worldwide.

The cost of surrogacy at Manor medical group is about 75 000 USD. Meanwhile, other agencies in Ukraine and Georgia offer surrogacy packages for 28 – 30 000 USD with guaranteed surrogacy packages starting at 37 000 USD. Why is there such a huge difference?

“Manor Medical Group” has thought of a smart, but a misleading answer, claiming that doctors in Ukraine and Georgia are not trustworthy, qualified and professional enough. As a substitution to local doctors, Manor Group offers the service of the top doctors they invite from Israel. After contacting Ministries of Health in Georgia and Ukraine, they will momentally confirm that those “top” doctors do not even have a working license. When they visit these countries once in a decade, the only right they have to observe the working process of local doctors.

Such a marketing strategy for justifying extremely high prices and confronting competitors is indeed effective – lies are always revealed soon though.  Parents may prefer to pay higher amount for better guarantees but is this really so? – Definitely not in “Manor Medical Group’s ” case.

Before deciding upon a surrogacy agency/clinic , it is the best practice to contact several local ones and ask for as much details as possible.


Gender Selection

A lot of people stay surprised after hearing that technically, there is a possibility to choose baby’s gender. This is indeed true, however, not everyone is eligible to do so. Gender selection  will usually have a serious reasoning behind it and will normally occur during an infertility treatment, such as IVF.


Gender Selection during Preimplantation Genetic Diagnoses

After In Vitro fertilization, before embryo is implanted into uterus, it will sometimes be screened for genetic disorders. The procedure is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis(PGD). It includes removing and screening one or two cells from an embryo. During PGD, apart from genetic disorders , it is possible to check embryo’s gender by observing sex chromosomes, X and Y. (XX indicates a girl, XY – a boy) After PGD, healthiest embryos of the desired sex will be implanted into mother’s or surrogate’s womb.


Why PGD and gender selection?

In case of previous unsuccessful pregnancies and family history of genetic disorders, PGD definitely allows to implant the healthiest embryos. PGD is a complete chromosomal analysis and in specific cases, increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

While some people have ethical concerns about gender selection, they fail to consider factors that influence parents’ decisions. For example, there exists a number of gender-linked diseases that are hereditary. One gender may be carrier of a certain disease and live unproblematically with it, while the opposite gender suffers from the lifelong symptoms. If family has a history of gender specific illnesses, gender selection can protect their baby from the same condition.

Sometimes parents go for gender selection for the sake of “family balancing” – having kids of both genders.


Who is eligible?

When parents have no fertility issues and choose IVF for gender selection solely, surrogacy agencies and clinics will have to turn them down. On the other hand, when couple has proven fertility issues, are married and already have a child, they can be allowed to choose baby’s gender if family balancing is their priority. Couples with fertility issues and family history that requires gender selection, will also be able to do so.

After PGD, the remaining embryos of  both genders can be frozen and used later. This is for the case if a current transfer is unsuccessful or couple decides to have more children later. Thanks to the technological advances, frozen embryo transfer has the same success rate as the fresh transfer.

As already mentioned, in specific cases, PGD is the way to a successful pregnancy. However, the procedure is not recommended if there is a limited number of embryos as PGD can diminish the number of them. For example, if a couple having fertility issues does not have problematic family history, performing PGD is not recommended. Gender selection and screening for chromosomal abnormalities, only happens when there is an urge to do so.  Otherwise, surrogacy agencies and clinics will only be concerned with treating and dealing with current fertility issues or specific requirements.

Due to legitimate concerns, gender selection is not possible in every country where surrogacy agencies operate. Mexico, Ukraine and some Asian countries are on the list of popular destinations.


Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction

Multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) is the medical procedure that reduces the number of fetuses carried during the multiple pregnancy.  It might be a very depressing subject for the intended parents to discuss, however, in long term perspective, MFPR can lead to a healthier pregnancy.

It is a fact that multiple pregnancy is a common occurrence during the In vitro fertilization treatment. The reason is that in order to increase the chances of a successful transfer, 2 or 3 embryos are often transferred at a time. When all of them implant successfully, intended parents are often surprised with twins of triplets. MFPR is not performed when a female carries twins, but may be done to decrease the number of fetuses from 3 or more to 2.

In most of the cases, the aim of the multifetal pregnancy reduction is to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. More fetuses are unfortunately  linked to higher chances of miscarriage, stillbirth and lifelong disabilities.



The procedure itself is performed early in the pregnancy (9-12 weeks), when the size of the fetus is very small. Widely used method includes injecting potassium chloride in the fetus via a needle, which is inserted in woman’s abdomen.

As already mentioned, multifetal pregnancy reduction is not performed during the twin pregnancy. The risk of this medical procedure is to unintentionally harm other than selected fetus(es). In order to avoid termination of the pregnancy, most of the fertility doctors and surrogacy agencies will strictly refuse to perform MFPR in case of twins.


How to feel about multifetal pregnancy reduction?

The procedure is undoubtedly mentally traumatizing and has a heavy emotional load. However, as strange as it may sound, intended parents should realize that it is done in  sake of a more successful and healthy pregnancy.


Surrogate Mother Selection Criteria

In reality, it is not that simple to formulate the golden standards for the surrogate mother selection. Criteria can sometimes  be different across the countries and agencies. However, it is important that intended parents have the general understanding and have an idea of what should they expect and how their surrogate mother is controlled before being finally  chosen for the program.

Intended parents need to be ensured that the agency will do it’s best, double check medical condition of the surrogate mother and choose the most appropriate candidate with the highest likelihood of success.

Does not matter whether baby is genetically connected to the surrogate mother or not. There exist a number of medical complications and conditions  which may occur or transmit  while the baby is being carried by the surrogate.

Most of the surrogacy agencies will require that surrogate mother does or provides the results of routine medical tests, such as : complete blood count, HIV test, hepatitis C,  measurement of hormone levels, pap smear test  and more.

The list of tests and requirements may vary across countries and agencies.  In some cases, apart from the ordinary tests, the surrogate should provide additional reports:


  • Chest X-ray and the conclusion that surrogate does not have tuberculosis.
  • Conclusion from the breast physician.
  • It is often required that the surrogate mother has her own children. It is important to check the report from the pediatrician and make sure that surrogate’s biological children are healthy and do  not have any medical problems.
  • Conclusion from the narcologist.
  • Report from the psychologist – yes, it is important to know that a surrogate mother is mentally healthy and completely ready to get started with the program and such a responsible journey.
  • The reports should of course include the final conclusion that the surrogate mother is healthy and does not have any pregnancy related issues.


During the introduction to the agency and the preliminary discussion, intended parents can require the list of surrogate mother selection criteria and double check that their candidate is satisfying them.

Huge amount of tests does not necessarily mean more qualitative check up and service. It is crucial that all of the tests have their purpose and are connected to the pregnancy. Intended parents should not hesitate to ask as many questions as needed and desired.


Surrogate Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has proven health benefits for a baby. A number of mothers do not manage or do not have the ability to breastfeed their babies. While they grow perfectly healthy and strong, breastfeeding still has it’s advantages and is sometimes of a high priority for the intended parents.

When surrogate mother gives birth to a child, it is possible to ask her to breastfeed the baby on the next day after the delivery. However, surrogate breastfeeding is not always guaranteed and there are a number of factors to take into consideration.


Can intended parents ask surrogate mother to breastfeed their baby after the delivery?

The issue of the surrogate breastfeeding is not the matter of the legal regulation. Surrogacy agencies too, do not mention it in the contracts. Surrogate mothers are not contractually obliged to breastfeed the baby but are neither restricted from doing so.

Intended parents might have the desire that the newborn receives health benefits from the breast milk on the first day after the delivery. While this is a reasonable request to have, it should be discussed with the surrogate mother long before the delivery.

There are a number of reasons why surrogate mother may not be willing to breastfeed a baby. First of all, she will likely want to avoid establishing an emotional bond, which can be a consequence of the breastfeeding. Giving a birth includes emotional and physical load. Sometimes, exhausted after the delivery, surrogate may not always be in the condition to breastfeed a child. Surrogate mother may also plan to dry up her breast milk and she may be planning her personal routine accordingly.

In order to protect surrogate’s feelings and satisfy the needs of the intended parents, surrogacy agency will have to act as an intermediary and participate in the preliminary agreement about the breastfeeding.

When intended parents have a strong desire that the surrogate breastfeeds baby even one time after the delivery, it is always recommended to discuss the issue in advance and check whether they have the consent from the surrogate mother.


Fresh and Frozen Embryo Transfer

It is a common perception that fresh embryo transfers are more successful than frozen embryo transfers. The thinking behind this attitude could be that highest quality embryos are transferred during the fresh cycles, while the rest, less viable ones are saved for the future attempts. Another possible issue is  that people do not fully understand what freezing actually means and think that it may affect the embryo quality. As the matter of fact, this way of thinking is not correct.

The belief that fresh embryo transfer has definitely higher success chances than the frozen, is far from accurate.


Fresh embryo transfer

Before the cycle, female body should be prepared for the egg retrieval. Ovaries get stimulated in order to produce extra eggs. The medications used for the procedure are not light for the body as they are interfering with the hormones. If the first cycle is not successful or intended parents want more children,  with no frozen embryos in storage, it will be necessary to go through the stimulation and egg retrieval processes once again. Definitely not the best practice.

While the hormone levels are being manipulated with every new retrieval procedure, it is important to also consider that each fresh cycle can cost even up to 10 000 USD, depending on the location and clinic.


Frozen embryo transfer

Frozen egg transfer requires preparation too –  the uterine lining has to thicken in order to be ready for receiving the embryo. The medications used for the process are less expensive than the ones used while the retrieval and fresh cycle. Additionally, they are much less demanding of the body.

When the embryo transfer occurs a while after the stimulation and retrieval, female body gets the chance to normalize hormone levels and get back to natural state, which is more suitable for the conception. A lot of researchers argue that this can have a positive effect on baby and reduce the chances of low birth weight and preterm labour.

A lot of intended parents find it very comfortable, not having to worry about the egg production and the repetition of the retrieval procedure. With the frozen eggs in storage, intended parents have the ability to plan the date of their cycle months in advance and prepare for it appropriately.


Egg freezing

As medical technologies have advanced a lot, freezing techniques have altered and advanced too. Ultra rapid freezing method results in higher success rates than the slow freezing method that was used back in the days.

Important notice for the intended parents is that freezing does not change or affect an embryo. In fact, embryos are kept from aging and are conserved the way they were before freezing. This is also the hint that the chances of success can not be lower in comparison to fresh embryo transfer.

In terms of success, there are no clear evidences in advantage of fresh or frozen egg cycles, however, the same applies to the disadvantages too.


The best practice

In order for the embryo transfer to be most practical, both medically and financially, it would be reasonable to stick to the following route : after the egg retrieval, perform fresh embryo transfer and in case of further cycles, use the frozen ones. Repeated cycles should be planned with the storage of frozen embryos.

Before planning the retrieval and transfer procedures, intended parents should  discuss the action plan with the surrogacy agencies and the donation clinics. It is important to know how they plan the cycles, whether or not they give the opportunity to freeze embryos, which methods they use and how they come in accordance to the best practices of the embryo transfer .


Meeting With the Anonymous Egg Donor

Egg donation regulations vary across the countries. According to law, egg donation can be known or anonymous. It may happen during a fertility journey that parents request meeting with the anonymous egg donor. Further, we will discuss whether is it possible and what other alternatives do intended parents have.

It is not hard to understand why intended parents want to meet their egg donor in person. However it is important to take several factors into consideration :

When intended parents request meeting with the anonymous egg donor, the personality of a donor has to be revealed. This step completely opposes the regulation and the idea of an anonymous egg donation, during which the anonymity and privacy of a donor are absolutely untouched. While parents might promise and claim that they respect their donor’s privacy and will not disclose any details from the meeting, it will still come in conflict with the initial agreement and country’s regulation.  

More importantly, in some countries egg donation is possible and allowed only when it is anonymous. The best of surrogacy and egg donation agencies operate accordingly, within the framework of country’s regulation. They do not allow revealing donor’s personal information.  At the same time, agencies will have a database of egg donors which contains all of the essential information for the donation procedure – such as donor’s medical history, medical records, proof of her mental health, information about her appearance – eye color, hair color and etc.


When can intended parents meet with the egg donor?

Meeting with an egg donor in person may be of high-priority for some intended parents.  If this is the case, it is essential to consider it before planning the program and choosing the destination. Intended parents will have to choose the country where surrogacy is regulated by the law, is legal and egg donation does not have to be anonymous. When anonymity is not a requirement in the country and donor can be known, intended parents can then get acquainted with her through the personal meeting.

One more factor to remember is that the possibility of known egg donation does not necessarily guarantee it. Egg donor herself might have privacy issues and  have no  desire to expose her identity. Surrogacy and egg donation agencies will first have to clarify this issue and choose the donors from the database,  who do not mind being introduced  to the patients. Intended parents should always consider contacting surrogacy and egg donation agencies first and discussing their priorities and inquiries before actually planning the program.


Surrogacy in Greece

In Europe, there is a lack of countries where surrogacy is allowed. In many cases, European couples have to leave the continent in order to find a suitable surrogacy destination. Greece is one of very few European countries where surrogacy is regulated and legal. Since 2014, surrogacy in Greece has been available for non-EU citizens too and has become an international destination for couples seeking surrogacy services.


In Greece, intended parents do not need to be married and single females are eligible for surrogacy services too. As for 2017, same-sex couples and single males are not currently allowed to become parents through a surrogacy program. Intended parents are required to provide medical proof that they are not able to have children without the assistance and fertility treatment such as IVF.


Although the law states that surrogacy should be altruistic, it is not completely so. Regulations allow surrogate mother to be paid up to 10,000 Euros. This amount is considered as a compensation for the loss of the regular job. It can be evaluated based on surrogate mother’s skills and qualifications –  how much would she earn as an employee.


Embryo transfer cannot occur without the permission of the court. Court has to allow a surrogate mother to participate in a program and intended parents should submit their medical records too. After about 8 weeks, court will notify the decision to the participating parties.


Of course surrogacy agencies and clinics will screen surrogate mother closely, however, it can happen that medical preparation of the surrogate does not go  as expected or she has to be replaced due to a private or medical reason. In this case, a new candidate will need to be presented to the court , whose approval will take an additional time. In this case, the total approval time may take up to 6 months.


Intended mother will be baby’s legal mother and her male partner – baby’s legal father. According to the Greek Civil Code, surrogate mother has no rights to request custody.


Total costs of surrogacy will of course depend on concrete services that intended parents need. Prices of surrogacy services are not very affordable in Greece and may sum up to 60,000 EUR.


Whether Greece is an attractive surrogacy destination depends on an individual case.  Intended parents will have to make a decision based on financial and other private matters, as well as after the communication with surrogacy agencies operating in the country. Meanwhile, we have provided several highlights that summarize surrogacy in Greece:  



  • Court approval and involvement prevents legal controversies
  • Intended parents are legal parents
  • Greece is a famous tourist destination with well known resorts



  • Approval process might get delayed
  • Not affordable
  • Surrogacy is not allowed for same-sex couples and single males


Inspiring Gay Dads to Follow on Social Media

All families are special in their own ways. All of them have their good and bad times, some live in harmony while others may struggle to balance their relationship.The families we are going to mention, are not special and inspiring only because they consist of two fathers, but because they give a perfect example of what parenthood is really about –  loving, caring, educating and respecting.

Following gay dads teach us that does not matter single or married, heterosexual or homosexual, every person and couple can create a happy and caring atmosphere for their children. Where there is a will, there is always a power too. Society has to support diverse families and prioritize children’s happiness and loving environment over parents’ orientation.



Two dads, Rob and Chris Taylor do not have a typical family – together with their two sons, they spend most of their time travelling. Rob and Chris are better known on social media as 2TravelDads.  As they explore the world with their beautiful children, fathers give them a broad view of the world, let them explore different cultures and traditions.

Apart from lively and vivid social media accounts, 2TravelDads have a blog, where they share parenthood stories and travel tips, making an amazing guide for venturing families.

Traveling with kids over the years has become increasingly important in shaping how they look at the world when we’re at home, from their flexibility to their ability to observe and learn about life.” – Mention 2TravelDads on their blog.


The real dads of Melbourne

Jarrad and Michael Duggan-Tierney live in Melbourne, Australia. The couple has been together for 16 years already and have a son, Reid, who is going to be 7 very soon. Family has Instagram account only, which was not initially created with the intention to gain such a popularity. However, gradually, as the real dads of Melbourne shared their precious and inspiring moments together, their Instagram page attracted thousands of followers.

Family enjoys socializing with friends, going to the theater and spending time at local parks. Together with Reid, family’s life is full of joy and happiness.

Instagram – @the_real_dads_of_Melbourne 


2 Dads with Baggage

Triton and John have been together for 20 years. Before living as a couple, Triton and John have known each other since they were mere children. Most of their adult lives, couple has dreamed of being fathers and today are dads of beautiful daughters, Sophia(15) and Ava(13). Cherishing every single moment of their children’s birth and growth, Triton and Jon would never want to image their life any other way. Fathers mention that having two teen girls can have its challenging moments. However, as a family, they deal with  all of them together.

Traveling is one family’s favorite activities –  “As a family, we love to travel and have visited more than a dozen countries around the world and many places across the US. Growing up in San Diego, Sophia and Ava are beach lovers and enjoy visiting other places with legendary beaches like Hawaii, Greece, Costa Rica and the Italian coast. Jon is partial to cultural destinations like London, Paris, New York and Tokyo, and Triton likes Provence, Amalfi, San Francisco – pretty much anyplace that serves up a stellar chocolate croissant. No matter where we go, we have a blast as a family and come home with hilarious stories and interesting experiences learning about other people and cultures.”


HIV and Surrogacy

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a kind of a virus that attacks immune system. Immune system is body’s way of fighting illnesses, bacteria, any unknown or threatening viruses. As HIV destroys the immune system, more concretely the cell called T-helper, body becomes gradually less capable to deal with infections and diseases.


HIV and surrogacy

HIV is found in breast milk, vaginal fluids and blood. For that reason, when we talk about HIV and surrogacy,in sake of safety, we refer to intended biological fathers only. As for males, HIV is found in semen, but after a procedure called ”sperm washing”, it is safe to proceed with IVF. Sperm itself, is resistant to HIV virus.


Sperm washing

During sperm washing, sperm is separated from semen. The procedure removes dead sperm, debris, white blood cells and other chemicals that may lead to unexpected or undesired reactions and results during IVF. Sperm washing is performed not only in case of HIV, but also when males have lower sperm count or decreased sperm mobility, even when they experience unexplained infertility.

Sperm wash is usually performed in IVF clinics. The method may vary according to the clinic and individual characteristics of each case. Techniques include: centrifugation wash, density gradient wash and swim up technique.

After the molecular based sperm wash is performed, the clinic will usually double check the sample on HIV virus. After completing and confirming the procedure successfully, there is practically no chance of transmitting the HIV either to carrier(intended mother/ surrogate) or to the baby.

As sperm washing requires special equipment, different facilities and strong skills. Surrogacy agencies will usually charge  a different fee for the HIV programs.


Requirements and communication with a surrogacy agency

Result oriented  and professional surrogacy agencies, have requirements before they admit an HIV positive father to a program. In order for the IVF to make sense and be successful, it is essential to be under a treatment. Antiretroviral therapy is used to control the virus. Agencies will also require results of the tests that confirm that viral load is undetectable. The test should not be performed earlier than 6 months and should be followed by the second one at the time of going to the agency. Surrogacy agency will require additional medical tests such as HIV in semen, HBV/HCV in semen and so on.

If the viral load is too high, agencies will not be able to currently accept an intended dad to the program.

Assisted reproductive technologies(ART) have undoubtedly reached a high level of development.Thanks to medical breakthroughs, more and more people are becoming able to enjoy the magnificent joy of parenthood. Before choosing a surrogacy agency, we would recommend to have a very detailed conversation, because the case of HIV and surrogacy is still different from other IVF cases. Make sure that the agency supports you, understands your case and has a very specific action plan.

HIV positive dads should not feel confused or offended if the agency asks for too much details or tests. Vice versa, this is all done in order to ensure baby’s safety.