In our extensive research into Canadian surrogacy, Zane and I have heard over again about the importance of picking who will be on our ‘team.’ We’re going to be investing a huge amount of trust in everyone we work with. Since the stakes are incredibly high, these have to be quality picks.
So far, we’ve gathered that we need the following:
- A lawyer who specializes in third-party reproduction
- A fertility clinic and doctor
- A surrogacy agency or consultant (optional)
- A counsellor
- The surrogate
When I say that we’ve spent hours interviewing doctors and agencies, I am not exaggerating. There are currently about a dozen surrogacy agencies in Canada, and we have spoken to every single one. Sometimes it feels like an information overload or like listening to a record on repeat. On reflection, I realize we’ve learned so much so quickly and that these conversations are invaluable to us.
The surrogacy community in Canada is not that big, so almost everyone who we’ve met knows each other. We’ve found that really helpful, because we were able to ask for second (and sometimes third) opinions on each person. Some names, like that of our lawyer, came up repeatedly as experts worth trusting. If you’ve ever been lawyer shopping and heard a dozen professionals tell you that your potential lawyer is incredible, you’ll understand just how much confidence that inspires.
As an aside, we also found it inspiring that this field is broadly female-driven. Nearly every professional we met with from our lawyer, to our doctor, to agency CEOs are women. It is very empowering to see so many women who are at the pinnacle of their careers supporting the creation of families like ours.
We met with two fertility clinics, and while the first one seemed fine I’m very glad we got a second opinion. Even though either clinic could have done the job for us, we really ‘clicked’ with Dr. Glass from CReATe Fertility Centre in Toronto. Not only did their funded-cycle waitlist match our timeline more appropriately, CReATe also has expertise in working with surrogates. Ultimately we left our (virtual) meeting with Dr. Glass feeling that she was someone we could rely on.
As of now, we’ve got 2/5 of our team members picked out. Our next step is signing with an agency. We’re close to making that decision and we’ll keep you posted.
If you’re to take one thing away from this post; get a second opinion – you won’t regret it.