You’ve come to the world of surrogacy to build your family. For many years, parents across the world have come to Canada to find a surrogate to help build their families.
There are plenty of reasons for this, but the most commented on is the surrogacy model that Canada operates on which is defined by the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Surrogates in Canada are required to follow the laws of the AHRA meaning they are not eligible to be paid to carry a gestational pregnancy. The model is built as an altruistic design. This allows for reimbursable expenses-of which the details can be worked out in your legal agreement.
How does it work?
Well, each province has its own requirements for parentage. Meaning the surrogate that chooses you is in a province where you will be able to secure your parentage paperwork. Some provinces have a very simple model. However, some have a more complex court-ordered model, some have a requirement for a biological link, etc.
Using an agency should take the guesswork out of this. Your Canadian legal specialist will always have the most up to date information and change in legislature for you. Each clinic has their own requirements for gestational carriers. If a surrogate has chosen your profile that means that we believe that she meets all of the needs required by the clinic that you are working with. It’s important to know what your clinic’s requirements are. Some clinics have a more reserved requirement list while others give more room for different parameters.
Once chosen and you’ve had the opportunity to review the surrogate’s profile, an introduction will be sent between you, the surrogate and the team managing your file. We encourage that a video call takes place within 24 hours of being introduced. We also encourage that that video call takes place within a few days of the introduction.
While you and your surrogate are getting to know each other, our team is busy in the background gathering all of the information that we need to send to your clinic and legal teams. Our support team will be in constant contact with your surrogate to ensure that she is aware of what the steps will be at the clinic that you’re working with. Once it has been determined how they would like the screening to be completed, our travel coordinator will work with your surrogate to arrange all of those plans in workout any expenses that she may incur. Hard copies of the invoices will be provided once travel plans are made. We will do the same when it comes to your transfer time as well.
Screening results can take anywhere from three to six weeks for your clinic to receive all the results in order to medically clear your surrogate. We will then send all of the pertinent information regarding your file to your legal teams.
In Canada each party needs to be represented individually. The intended parents legal team is usually on the drafting side and will initiate the draft to the surrogates lawyer. It is required that surrogates have independent legal advice prior to signing a gestational surrogacy agreement. Your clinic will require that proof of independent legal advice is on file prior to starting your surrogate on any medication for a transfer cycle.
During your legal process, we will assist your surrogate in understanding for needs along with her legal representation. Most of these details are worked out in advance making the legal agreement process much easier.
Our CEO created JA Surrogacy in 2018 and based the vision of the consultancy from her experiences as a gestational and traditional surrogate. As an agency, we provide start to finish consultation and support services. Here at JA Surrogacy, we feel that a more organic and transparent approach is best. This has resulted in many successful partnerships and births over the past few years.
We believe that all clients should have a higher standard of care. Well we have different expectations of contact dependent on where you are in your journey. You will never go more than three weeks without contact from your support person. If you are reaching out to your support person, you should hear back from them within a day or two. Of course if it’s an urgent matter, much faster.
JA Surrogacy – intended parents
We know that intended parents have probably already been down a road of challenges and hurdles to build their families and that can include heartbreak and disappointment.
Our intended parents are chosen off of our waitlist by potential candidates that fit the criteria that they are looking for as well as the criteria required by their clinics. Our surrogates are asked about what they are looking for in their journey as well. What types of intended parents are they looking for and what are the values that they would like to align on.
JA Surrogacy – surrogate
At JA Surrogacy the surrogate has the autonomy to choose who they would like to work with. This often means that our wait list doesn’t reduce in chronological order. This was especially evident during the covid health climate.Many surrogates that were completing our intake process were not able to travel across the border if it meant that they needed to quarantine upon return. The wait list is always the biggest thing that intended parents bring to us. When you sign up with us, your file is placed on a wait list with a number based on when your profile is completed and submitted.
However, that does not mean that you will be chosen any sooner or later by a potential candidate.
It’s all relevant on what the surrogate is looking for. Whether you have embryos that are PGS tested or not. Whether you have embryos ready, the province of the surrogate resides in. Where your clinic is located, the clinic requirements, and then the values that we have asked each of you about.
While all the standard criteria are important to be met. It is more important that your profile is presented to a potential candidate based on the values that you have presented to us in your profile.
We respect all values of our clients and will not put them in a situation where they need to compromise. The perfect example of this is termination of pregnancy values.
If a potential surrogate states that they would not terminate a pregnancy, and you have indicated in your paperwork that you would request termination of a pregnancy for physical, genetic, or chromosomal defects, then that surrogate will not see your profile.
There is no judgment made on either side for your values. We would not discuss potentially changing the values that you came to us with. So, when it comes to the ‘waitlist’, it’s not simply about a number to us. It’s about connection. It’s about respecting the values of the people that have chosen us to embark on this journey with. This is why we want you to put so much into building your profile. We want a potential candidate to see your profile and be drawn to it based on the information that you’ve put in it and make a connection with your values.
Getting to know intended parents
We do ask that all of our intended parents make a short video. But it will give the potential candidate the opportunity to see more about your personality and potentially resonate with your story visually. Your support worker will help you build the best possible profile and give you feedback on your video. These conversations allow us to present intended parent profiles to the best candidates that align with them. The relationships that come from these partnerships develop in organic long lasting friendships. This make the journey that much more rewarding for everyone.
Not every journey is smooth sailing and many run into challenges that are not foreseen.
Sometimes partnerships dissolve and relationships don’t work out as we had hoped. Sometimes the partnership experiences a loss of a pregnancy. This is normal. Surrogacy is an emotional journey that needs to be treated with compassion and care. The human element is important, and we need to support it.
Agency assistance for your surrogacy journey in Canada can be a great support and resources for you. When choosing your agency, you want to ask the hard questions. JA will always offer you a free consultation to review the process and answer all of the questions you have. We are known across the globe and we are often referred to by previous and current clients. We have worked exceptionally hard to build a brand of ethics and transparency while working within the Assisted Human Reproduction Act and Health Canada guidelines. This also leads us to be referred to by our country’s legal specialists and many fertility clinics. Our team has many years of surrogacy experience and has seen many positive and amazing changes in the Canadian surrogacy world.