Professor Beverley Vollenhoven
REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGIST AND INFERTILITY SPECIALIST
Surrogacy in Australia has 2 major pitfalls; finding a surrogate and the differing definitions in the states within Australia. In Australia, surrogacy is ALWAYS altruistic, though the surrogate can be reimbursed. Surrogates are always known to the intended parents, and may be a family member, friend or someone they have met through a third party.
Surrogacy is defined as a woman carrying and giving birth to a child for the intended parent or parents (commissioning). It involves the implantation of an embryo to the surrogate to achieve a pregnancy. The embryo may be created using:
- the sperm and/or eggs of the intended parents
- donor sperm or eggs
- a combination of the above
This is gestational surrogacy and is the most common. Traditional surrogacy involves a surrogate carrying a baby created using her own egg and IUI rather than IVF may be used.
The main reason for surrogacy is being unable to safely carry a pregnancy or give birth. This would be due to not having a functional uterus or having a medical condition that may worsen in pregnancy affecting the life of mother and baby.
Professor Beverley Vollenhoven is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility specialist. She is Head of Gynaecology at Monash Health, Acting Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Monash University and a clinician at Monash IVF.
Her areas of clinical and research interest are infertility including IVF and ovulation induction, PCOS, paediatric and adolescent gynaecology and menopause.
She is a member of committees for the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Safer Care Victoria and the Therapeutic Goods Administration. She is a Board Member of the Fertility Society of Australia. Beverley was an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2019.