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Pre-conception Planning

Pre-Conception Planning is an innovative new service offered by Sydney Dispute Resolution for couples and individuals planning to start a family through same-sex co-parenting arrangements, assisted reproduction, donor conception, surrogacy or adoption.


Becoming a parent is one of the life’s most important milestones. Advances in assisted-reproduction technologies mean that the opportunity to start a family is being embraced in ever greater numbers by same-sex couples, single parents and heterosexual couples who may not be romantically involved.


Whilst the arrival of a baby in the family brings great excitement and joy, it can also give rise to conflict when the co-parents or donors find that they have different expectations about the roles each will play in the child’s life.


  • One common issue that occurs in known-donor situations is where, once the child is born, ‘the donor’ regards himself as the father and expects to have significant contact and responsibility for the child, whereas the child’s mother and her partner regard him simply as a donor or ‘friendly uncle’, with no legal status or role as the child’s parent.


  • Another area that can be problematic is where two women jointly decide to have a child, but one mum feels like her life-long contribution and bond with the child are undervalued by the mum with the biological connection.


Any conflict that results is not only difficult for the adults involved, but has the potential to cause harm to the children. With so much at stake, preventing these issues can be difficult without professional help. Also, the lack of established precedents in the evolving area of fertility law mean that seeking resolution through the legal system can be costly, time consuming and very unpredictable.


Sydney Dispute Resolution’s Pre-conception Planning sessions are designed to avoid conflict by bringing the parties together before the birth, to work through any issues and establish clear expectations from the outset. It involves everyone gathering in a safe, neutral place to discuss what will happen after your child is born.


  • Each meeting lasts 2-3 hours

  • Everyone who is going to be involved in the conception or raising of the child is welcome

  • Our practitioners guide you through common issues and assist you to clarify your expectations, share ideas and express any concerns


Common topics for discussion include:


  • What are the roles and responsibilities of the co-parents and donor?

  • Who will get to name your child and which names will appear on the birth certificate?

  • How often and what type of contact will the co-parents or donor have with your child?

  • Who will provide for your child financially?

  • Will the donor be legally required to pay child support?

  • What will be the legal status of the co-parents or donor?

  • How will any disputes be resolved following the birth of your child?


The outcome of the session is a Pre-Conception Parenting Agreement that clearly records what was discussed and agreed. This will put your relationship with your co-parent, donor or surrogate on a firm footing so that you can look forward to the birth of your child with confidence and peace of mind.


If you are interested in Pre-Conception Planning, please call Sydney Dispute Resolution on 0447 183 474 for an obligation-free chat about whether our service may be right for you.


You can also email us at: for more information.


Note: Regardless of whether or not you wish to participate in a Pre-Conception Planning session with Sydney Dispute Resolution, we strongly recommend all clients seek independent legal advice prior to entering into any co-parenting and/or donor/surrogacy arrangements.



same sex parenting, ART conception, surrogacy, donor agreements, known donor, surrogate, sydney, pre-conception agreements, assisted reproduction agreements
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