Surrogacy in Canada can be a rewarding journey, but it is at the same time a very challenging experience. You will need to overcome different stages before achieving your goal of become parents. Probably one of the main steps in this journey will be to find surrogate mother.
How to start a surrogacy process in Canada?
There are not two identical surrogacy journeys, and while yours can change depending on your province’s laws, surrogacy agencies you are working with, fertility clinics, surrogacy lawyers or any other individual circumstances, the following 5 steps can help you prepare for your surrogacy journey in Canada:
Step 1: Decide if surrogacy is the right choice for you?
The first step in any surrogacy process is to carefully contemplate whether gestational surrogacy is right option for you to start your family.
You should weight pros and cons, speak with various surrogacy agencies in Canada and, if possible, with people who have finished the process. There are a lot of online resources and communities where you can find first-hand experiences and advice from intended parents. It is important for you to understand if pursuing surrogacy in Canada is right option for you legally, financially and emotionally.
Step 2: Find a reputable fertility clinic.
This is a tricky one, since you ideally want the IVF clinic to be located as close as where your surrogate lives in order to save travelling costs as well as making it easier for the surrogate to do the follow up checkups. So why do we place this at number 2? Well, most surrogates are interested in starting the process quickly once they match and having your embryos ready and tested will put you in the top of the list. There are quite a few IVF and fertility clinics in Canada, and most are reasonably reputable and with good success rates.
Step 3: Find a Canadian attorney specialized in surrogacy and egg donation.
An expert and experienced fertility lawyer will assist with the egg donation contract, the surrogacy agreement and legal issues regarding the surrogate mother and fertility clinic if needed, so choosing the right fertility attorney is very important and can save you a lot of trouble.
Keep in mind that surrogacy regulations in Canada are different in every province so it is wise to get the right legal counsel and make sure your lawyer can help you navigate this.
Step 4: Find an egg/ sperm donor
In the case of same sex couples, single parents or straight couples with medical issues, you will have to choose a gamete donor. In general your fertility specialist will be able to suggest egg or sperm donation banks. Also, your lawyer can guide you with this. It is a very important step because you will be basically deciding on the future biology of your kid, some people focus on how the donor looks, or medical history, intellectual achievements, etc. You for sure will have your check list when looking for an egg donor but remember that in the end your kid will be amazing regardless of their looks, hair or eye color or height, don’t feel overwhelmed!
Step 5: Find a surrogate mother in Canada
To find a surrogate mother in Canada is probably the most challenging part of the entire process. Since surrogacy in Canada can only be altruistic there is a serious shortage of candidates interested in becoming a surrogate mom.
You first need to decide if you are going to work with a surrogacy agency in Canada to help you find a surrogate, with the increased cost it brings or you will go independent and try to find a surrogate on your own.
If you are not one of the lucky ones that found a surrogate in their family or circle of friends but you still want to try the independent path, there are several online communities, Facebook groups and sites that focus on finding surrogate mothers that also want to do an independent surrogacy journey. However, if you decide to use a Canadian surrogacy agency and you are willing to pay for it, they will help you with the matching process. We recommend you research our Surrogacy Agencies Directory as well as online reviews for a few agencies and then interview them and try to understand if they provide the services you are looking for, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their estimated matching times, surrogates they work with, their staff and their process, etc. Your lawyer can also share some insights with you about the surrogacy agency and even make some recommendations. It’s all about finding the best fit for you.
The Canadian Surrogacy community is not large, so most professionals know each other and can point you in the right direction, give you feedback, suggestions and help you make the decisions that best work for you and what you are looking for, so do your research and don’t be afraid to ask around!