Monday, May 28, 2012

Surrogacy Australia conference

I was lucky to attend and speak at the Surrogacy Australia conference that was held on Saturday and yesterday in Melbourne.

In the next few days I will post on the blog my paper provided to the conference. I had the opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues, including American friends  Kim Bergman from Growing Generations and fellow Surrogacy Lawyer, Stephanie Caballero, as well as migration agent Roman Deauna from Far and Wide Migration, and the convenor of Gay Dads Australia, Rodney Cruise.

The conference was impressive and exciting. The organising committee, led by Sam Everingham, undertook an amazing task with the conference. It was not only thorough, interesting and well-prepared, but there was a real buzz about the place. It's rare to have that at conferences.

It was interesting to listen to a phalanx of Indian surrogacy doctors and clinic owners, and my fellow lawyer Amit Karkhanis about the Indian experience. Especially gripping were:
  •  the presentation by Australian anthropologist student Michelle Stockey- Bridge (whose interviews of surrogates at two Indian clinics was that the surrogates were wanting to help childless people, and that the surrogates were no coerced) and
  • seeing the Indian surrogates speak on video about why they became surrogates (it backed up what Michelle Stockey-Bridge discovered). Powerful stuff!
I also had the opportunity to meet new friends, including Dr Shivani from the Surrogacy Centre India (whom I had previously shared billing with Sam on SBS Insight Baby Business, which made the three of us, apparently,"stars"), and Karen Synesiou from the Center for Surrogate Parenting.

Thank you Sam, and all involved in the conference. It was awesome!


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