We pride ourselves on our high standards and ethical dealings with our Canadian surrogates. We insist that all of our Canadian surrogates are already mothers of their own children so they are well aware of the process of pregnancy and birth. They are significantly compensated for their role and see surrogacy not as a way to help others but also as a way to help their own families.
In addition, all of our Canadian surrogates are part of our program through word-of-mouth. Our surrogate mothers are not ‘recruited’ but join willingly. The program is organized by our nurse who is also currently functioning as a surrogate for a foreign couple.
Furthermore, one of the advantages of surrogacy in Canada is that all of our surrogates enter our program with the consent of their families. In countries like India, surrogacy has a social stigma attached to it which can be detrimental. This is not the case it Canada where the idea of family is extremely important and the idea of surrogacy is seen as a selfless act.
The first step for the interested parent(s) is to talk to our Program Coordinator or Programs Director about gestational surrogacy or egg donation, regarding their costs and risks. We work with just about anyone to help match them. We work with couples and with single intended parents, men and women. Our oldest intended inseminating father was 65 and our youngest was 28. We work with international Intended Parents, both couples and singles. If the intended parent(s) are interested in proceeding, they then will be sent a package of information, cost breakdowns, contracts with the agency and a draft contract with the carrier/egg donor and questionnaires. We generally request that the interested parents come in for a consultation or have a phone consultation. Once interested parents decide to join the program, they fill out the questionnaire, they will also send in pictures of themselves, preferably with some friends’ or relatives’ kids, sign the agreement with the agency, and send in the initial deposit.
If we believe a carrier or egg donor would be appropriate for a specific couple or single, we send her profile to the intended parent(s), removing all identifying information first. If the parent(s) think they might be interested, we then send the carrier or egg donor, a profile of them, similarly keeping out all identifying information. If both the carrier and the prospective parent(s) feel good about each other on paper, we put them in touch by telephone so that they can begin to get to know each other via the telephone. This is not always true with egg donors. Many couples prefer egg donors to be anonymous, and we are comfortable with that. Assuming the egg donor is also comfortable with that, the couple and egg donor would not meet, but we can communicate any questions between them.
With surrogacy, after talking on the phone, if all parties like each other, the next step would be for the carrier to meet the prospective parent(s). This meeting can happen at your mutual convenience, at the carrier’s home, the parents’ home, or some place in between, for example, caffee. If the carrier has children and/or a partner or spouse, the intended parents should meet them as well.