Other paths to parenthood

Giving birth yourself or having your female partner become pregnant aren’t the only ways to become a parent. This page talks about other paths to parenthood.

Some people decide that the options described on this page aren’t for them. You may continue to try for a pregnancy – using the same or a different method – because you might feel strongly about bearing your own offspring.

Other people may decide not to pursue the goal of having children. See Being child-free.

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Surrogacy is an option for women if they are unable or do not wish to carry a pregnancy. In Australia, a surrogate is a healthy female who carries a donated embryo to term. The surrogate cannot use her own eggs. The embryo can be created from the egg and sperm of either the intended parents or a donor. The embryos are implanted into the surrogate’s uterus through IVF.

Surrogacy is a complex process for everyone involved. The fertility clinic organising it ensures that both the donor and surrogate go through counselling and psychiatric testing before the process begins. An ethics committee may also have to approve your case. This ensures that all parties make a well-informed decision.

If surrogacy is an option, you will need to pay the medical costs of the IVF process and any additional expenses.

How to find a surrogate

In Australia, it is illegal to advertise for someone to act as a surrogate or to pay a surrogate for her services. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as altruistic surrogacy. It’s common for people to ask someone they know to be the surrogate.

Paid surrogacy is permitted in some countries overseas. The fertility clinic will have a list of conditions the surrogate will need to meet.

This is general information about surrogacy. Laws vary across Australia and may change. Check with your local fertility clinic for the current legislation in your state or territory. It’s best to consult a lawyer before entering into a surrogacy agreement.

Adoption and fostering

Adoption and fostering may also be options for people who want to become parents.

Adoption – This involves taking legal parental status of a child who is not biologically yours and looking after them permanently. You may be able to adopt a child within Australia or from an overseas country.

For more information about adoption, visit the family and community service government website in your state or territory.

For a guide to overseas adoption, visit the Australian Government’s intercountryadoption.gov.au or call 1800 197 760.

Fostering (foster care) – This means taking responsibility for a child without having legal parental status. Types of foster care include emergency, respite, short-term and long-term care. In Australia, there are more opportunities to foster than to adopt.

Most adoption and fostering agencies say they do not rule out adoption or fostering for cancer survivors on the basis of their medical history.

However, all applicants must declare their health status. The agency may also speak directly with your doctor and require you to have a medical examination. The intention is to determine the risk of your cancer returning and your capacity to raise a child.

Applicants must also be willing to meet other criteria. The agency from your state or territory may send a representative to assess your home, and you will have a criminal record (background) check. The process depends on where you live and if the child is from Australia or overseas.

  — Sylvia

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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in May 2018
View who reviewed this content
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