Every year, Australians travel to foreign countries to undergo fertility treatment. There are a number of reasons why people consider surrogacy or IVF treatment overseas, but before you pack your bags, there are some things you need to consider.
Why look overseas?
Treatment may cost less overseas or there may be a desire to protect privacy or go where recruitment of surrogates or a donor seems easy.
Click here to read about what the research tells us about crossing borders for fertility care.
Some consider it simply easier. For people considering surrogacy, legislation in Australia is strict. While there are good reasons for this, including payment restrictions, compulsory psychological testing, counselling and legal advice or all parties, it may just seem simpler to head overseas.
Click here for our surrogacy fact sheet.
Many involuntarily childless Australians travel overseas to locate a surrogate through commercial contracted surrogacy arrangements. This means that couples or individuals who want a child agree to pay a fee to the surrogate beyond medical expenses.
Click here for more information about overseas surrogacy.
Is it worth it? Is it safe?
While there are always some good news stories about overseas treatment, the legal complexities and lack of regulation of treatment in some countries visited by Australians means that this is not necessarily always the case.
The number of surrogacy arrangements in Australia is growing and many people are able to find a local surrogate and/or egg donor.
A good starting point before making a decision about local or overseas treatment is to talk to your doctor or clinic. Our Patient and Physician Prompter at has good questions and discussion points to help you with that conversation.
This article was produced by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA).
VARTA provides public education and resources for professionals and the community on fertility and issues related to assisted reproductive treatment, including IVF, surrogacy and donor-conception.