Children of Surrogacy at 2016 Australia Conference
The 2016 Australia Conference presented by Families Through Surrogacy in Brisbane, Australia, is almost here! The Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc. (CSP, Inc.), is a proud Platinum Sponsor of this major conference that will touch on the many aspects of surrogacy and its related issues around the world today. Karen Synesiou, the chief operating officer of CSP, Inc., is a keynote speaker to the conference and will discuss details of how surrogacy programs operate in the United States.
A particular focus of this year’s conference will be on the children of surrogacy themselves and how their experiences and emotions have shaped their young lives. More and more couples the world over are turning to surrogacy to begin and expand their families. It’s an exciting time to be part of this complex yet amazing and life-affirming process. Read on to learn more about the 2016 Australia Conference and the latest issues in the world of surrogacy.
Born in England and a former resident of South Africa, Karen Synesiou joined CSP, Inc., in 1990 and today is the organization’s chief operating officer. She strongly believes in the power and joy of surrogacy and how the process creates loving and beautiful families. Karen’s international worldview serves her well in her work of operating CSP, Inc., and successfully creating connections between surrogates and intended parents. By keeping professionals involved in every step of the process, CSP, Inc., has demonstrated that surrogacy is a viable option for many different families. Karen’s passion for her work has led to her acting as a spokeswoman for surrogacy in the news and on social media.
In her June 4 keynote address at the Australia Conference, Karen and co-speaker Andy Vorzimer of the Vorzimer Masserman Law Firm will focus on the way surrogacy works in the United States. The discussion will include aspects of the process from screening and matching intended parents and surrogates through all stages of the pregnancy and birth of the child. Attendees will also learn about escrow accounts, the factors involved in working with surrogates, handling surrogacy over long distances in this increasingly international service, and more.
Another topic of great interest that will be covered at the Australia Conference concerns the growth and emotional health of children and teenagers of surrogacy. Some critics of surrogacy believe that these youngsters may experience adjustment issues and feel alienated from their peers who were born to the parents who raised them. Does a child’s knowledge of having been conceived and born in a manner different from that of most other children cause children of surrogacy to experience mental and emotional problems while growing up?
A recent study conducted by Susan Golombok of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge has shed some light on this issue. Professor Golombok’s research team followed a number of children over several years, until the age of 10, to develop an idea of the unique issues facing these youngsters. The children were selected based on being children of surrogacy, conceived by either egg or sperm donation to one of the parents, or conceived naturally by both parents raising the children. Although the study detected a slight degree of adjustment challenges in children of surrogacy around the age of 7, the various children overall appeared to experience few if any adjustment challenges by age 10.
Tied into this topic are the decisions of the individual families about when, or even if, to tell the child he or she was born via surrogacy. Most experts agree that the child should be informed of this fact sometime during the formative years to avoid surprise revelations later in life.
One concern in this unchartered territory is how teenagers and young adults who know of their surrogacy births will adjust. Teenagers often experience adjustment problems during adolescence, and questions remain about how well children of surrogacy will grow and mature in their vital teenage years. To this end, immediately following the keynote address, the 2016 Australia Conference will present four teenagers and a younger adult to talk about their experiences knowing that they are children of surrogacy; or, in one case, the daughter of a surrogate child. Moderator Alice Clark, 28, will present the four young panelists—Matt Mills, 18; Morgan Rennie, 18; David Levine, 24, and Brittany Gould, 17—as they share their poignant and surprising experiences. Conference attendees are sure to discover new insights into the developing world of surrogacy and the challenges and rewards of life experiences by the people involved.
Surrogacy is a viable and exciting option for couples who are faced with infertility or other obstacles to creating their own loving families. As more and more people become familiar with surrogacy and discover how it can positively impact their lives, further research will shed light on these families and their experiences. The 2016 Australia Conference will cover all aspects of surrogacy from the people who are helped by it through the medical and legal needs of the parties involved. For complete details, a conference schedule is available to help attendees learn more about the Australia Conference http://www.familiesthrusurrogacy.com/australian-conference-june-2016/
Through surrogacy, we’ve learned that, although some families need special help in getting started, all families are held together by love.