We don’t have to actively look for a surrogate. That is what the surrogacy agency is for, so Canadian Fertility Consulting (CFC) assists us to look for one and also matching with them. After we told CFC that we will be utilising their services at the end of the first week of December 2016, they have been putting us in the loop for surrogates. Their policy is that if we don’t get matched with a surrogate, we won’t have to pay for their agency fees. Well, that was a fair deal for us, as they will be actively looking in order to earn the fees! The other agencies tend to take the fees before they start any sourcing and matching. The thing is we can choose a surrogate or surrogates all we like but it is ultimately the choice of the surrogate. They have to choose us, no questions asked.
13 December 2016
We received our first email from Bree, from CFC. It had ‘**Immediate Attention Required** surrogate profile (Mellissa)’ in the subject heading and we were instantly excited as it was the beginning of the search for us! The email had a summary of the surrogate and then a profile of her in PDF attached. The email has a yellow-highlighted sentence ‘This surrogate profile is being sent to all waiting Intended Parents’. It felt like a race to get the surrogate if she sounds right for us, the Intended Parents (IPs). If we like our bio to be sent to the surrogate, we have to respond to that email IMMEDIATELY!
Stress. Pressure. We didn’t know what to do. Do we wait for the next one or do we just say yes to anyone that comes in since, at the end of the day, we don’t really get to choose. Looking into her profile, what stood out was that she cleverly put a filter over her picture that has a rainbow element with NO H8 on it. She is supportive of the LGBTIQ community. That is excellent! We have not even read through her profile yet! After reading through her profile, we were smitten, but we had to tell ourselves that we can always just express our interest and see what happens. The only thing is that Mellisa is based in British Columbia, which is on the West coast of Canada, and we were hoping for a surrogate based in Ontario (the East side), so we can have every element of the surrogacy process in one place. Well, that is the ideal solution, but we won’t say ‘no’ anyway, we will still be happy to reimburse the surrogate’s travelling expenses where required. We knew there will be others surrogates that CFC will send through anyway. So we responded to Bree and told her to send our bios to Mellisa.
15 December 2016
We received another email from Bree with ‘**Immediate Attention Required** Surrogate Profile (Carlee)’. The email was like the first one with a quick summary on the surrogate and attached is their profile as a PDF. This time we didn’t think about it much but looked through the profile and also liked her. She was also located in Ontario, where we’d like. So we quickly responded to Bree to tell her to forward our bios to Carlee. Definitely less pressure this time. Now just wait for any responses or more surrogates to be sent to us to view.
17 December 2016
Bree replied to our first email that we said to send Mellisa our bios. We didn’t guess what would be in the email when we opened it. The first sentence that greeted us was:
“I have just heard back from our surrogate support team and Mellissa wants to move forward with you both as your surrogate!!!”
Nope, we did not expect that! Well, we were expecting it to happen at some stage but did not expect this so soon… not from the first surrogate that was presented to us… not from the first surrogate presented to us just four days ago!
In the same email, there was a blurb about what to expect next. And this is what we had to look forward to:
- Over the next few days, we will be introduced to Courtney our surrogate support worker. She is going to send us a “tips and tricks” email to help us get prepared to building a strong relationship with Mellissa, our surrogate.
- Courtney will wait for our reply and then introduce us and Mellisa via email.
- We get to know Mellissa! We call, email and skype as much as possible over a 2-week period.
- We will receive a copy of CFC’s consulting agreement which details the fees due and what to expect over the coming months.
- Courtney will then book a call with us to review the agreement as it will be due within 14 days of being introduced to Mellissa.
- Once fees and agreement are in, Courtney will send out legal match sheets as well as clinic match sheets so CFC can arrange with CReATe Fertility Centre, our preferred IVF clinic, to get Mellissa screened.
- After Mellissa passes the screening we will move onto the surrogacy contracts and start planning for the embryo transfer.