INFERTILITY

Having AIS means that - despite being able to form intimate relationships and function as fully sexualised human beings - we are not able to conceive, nor are we able to have the experience of carrying a pregnancy and give birth.

Amenorrhoea - the absence of menstrual periods - would be familiar to most of our members. While in many ways this could easily be seen as a blessing, it can also represent a substantial loss for people with AIS. Women with AIS or CAIS are left out of the "rite of passage" for 46XX women of the first period, which marks the crossing over from girlhood into womanhood.

For men with AIS, the technology to extract viable sperm cells from their gonads - if not removed already - is still very much experimental.

At the AISSG Australia, we are always on the look out for ways to assist our members to realise their ambition to become a parent, or to have the opportunity to become significantly involved in the raising of young people.

The paths to parenthood are many and varied; from government-run programs, such as adoption and fostering, through new areas of legal reform in Australia, such as reviews of surrogacy laws in various states and allowing compassionate surrogacy, to cutting edge reproductive technologies.

The chance to have children could present itself when forming a relationship with someone who already has children, or by choosing work or volunteer in a job where you have contact with children and/or adolescents.

Many of these parenting options are not without their own complexities. Please find following a list of useful links of the subjects of adoption, fostering, surrogacy and parenting. Please also view our biographies section for anecdotal information about overcoming the issues of infertility.

Adoption in Australia

Adoption, Department of Families and Communities, South Australia

Adoption and Permanent Care, Communities Youth and Families, Victoria

Adoption Queensland, Department of Communities, Queensland

Adoption NSW, Department of Community Services (DoCS), New South Wales

Adoption, Department of Children and Families, Northern Territory

Adoption in Western Australia, Department for Child Protection, Western Australia

Adoption and Permancy Services, Tasmania

Adopting Children from Overseas

Fostering

Australian Fostercare Association - If you would like to find out more about foster care in your own State or Territory, or to become a foster carer, please click here and AFA will help you...

Foster care, Department of Child Safety, Queensland

Foster Parents Support Network NSW

Foster Care Association NSW

Fostering, Department for Child Protection, Western Australia

Foster Care Association of WA

Foster care, Department of Health and Community Services, Northern Territory

Foster Care, Victorian Department of Human Services, Victoria

Foster Care, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Inc., Victoria

Foster Care Association of Victoria

Foster Caring, South Australian Department for Families and Communities, South Australia

Foster Carers, Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania

Foster Care, ACT Department of Disability Housing and Community Services, Australian Capital Territory

Galilee Family Placement Scheme - Foster Care, ACT

Foster Care Association of the ACT

(Click here for an article about Foster Care by Tony Briffa)

Surrogacy Links

Reproductive Technology Legislation around Australia

The Surrogacy Center in Australia

Report 60 (1988) - Artificial Conception: Surrogate Motherhood

Surrogate motherhood law and legislation Australia

The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy

ABC News stories around recently passed surrogacy laws in Western Australia, and calls and reviews to relax laws in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.

Working with Children

Go Volunteer

There are checks for Working with Children in both Victoria and Western Australia, which are compulsory for people who wish to work closely with children.

Blue card - the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 requires ceratin people working with children in Queensland apply for one.

Parenting Skills

Raising Children Network - a consortium of three of Australia's leading early-childhood agenies developed this website with the Australian government to help parents with the daily decisions of raising children and looking after their own needs.

Relationships Australia - provide professional services to support families.

Triple P - Positive Parenting Program

Positive Parenting Network of Australia

General Links

Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Online

Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association

Department of Family and Community Services

Access Australia is Australia's infertility network. It is a consumer-based, non-profit, independent organisation which provides infertility support, information and advocacy

The National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders Inc.

The Experience Project - Read true personal stories, chat & get advice, support and help from a group of 166 people who all say they are Women Who Can't Have Children

Resources

"When you can't have a child: Personal Stories of living through infertility and childlessness" by Susan Powell and Helen Stagoll, available at www.infertilitybooks.com

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Last update: 6 December, 2014

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