For Immediate Release – Ottawa, Ontario – Sept 13, 2018
Fertility Match Canada officially launches the most advanced and vetted Egg Donor Database in Canada.
Fertility Match Canada provides fully-customized fertility consulting services to those individuals and couples that are incapable of having children on their own. The company recruits Surrogate mothers and Egg Donors that meet stringent criteria for aspiring parents.
Fertility Match was founded in early 2017 by Liz Ellwood and Lisa Casselman on the premise that all parties involved deserve well-thought out, well-researched, and customized approach to navigating the fertility industry. With their new and innovative approaches over the last 18 months, Fertility Match Canada has become the fastest growing fertility consulting agency in Canada working with the top fertility centres in Canada.
In an effort to help Intended Parents around the country find suitable Egg Donors from a trusted, secure and reliable source, the company is announcing the official launch of the most sophisticated Egg Donor base in Canada: Egg Match.
By creating an account at Egg Match, Intended Parents can peruse the profiles of a highly vetted list of qualified, pre-screened and ready-to-donate Egg Donors from across Canada. The database has a minimum of 5 adult photos of each Donor, as well as access to a wide variety of information to help make a thoughtful and informed selection. With easy-to-use menus and searchable criteria, Intended Parents can make this important decision with the information at their fingertips. No names or contact information of the donors is ever shared. Although most Donors remain anonymous, they are all willing to meet the child someday in the future.
“I’ve been in the fertility industry for 15 years, and it has never been a better time for Intended Parents to find the perfect Egg Donor to build their family”, states Liz Ellwood, co-founder of Fertility Match and cancer survivor. “I only wish I had this type of sophisticated tool to help me when I was in their shoes. It would have saved so much time and heartache!”
With 15% of Canadian couples unable to conceive on their own, Fertility Match is filling a huge gap for those Canadians who want customized fertility consulting services with the added benefits of quality choices for donors.
Lisa Casselman is Ms. Ellwood’s business partner and 2-time Surrogate. “We invested a lot of time and money into our programs to help change how an agency supports aspiring families in Canada. We personally know how hard it is to turn to strangers for guidance, service and support, and we want to deliver the best there is to our clients. The database has been unofficially open since June and we’ve already had an overwhelming response.”
Currently the database has dozens of Egg Donors of varying ethnical backgrounds and personalities. “We have thoroughly screened hundreds of applicants this year and are only choosing the best donors, not just for their physical appearance, but for their hearts, minds and personalities,” continued Ms. Ellwood. “Now all we need is for our government to implement a regulation system that ensures all agencies across Canada are held accountable and meeting the highest of standards”.
Liz Ellwood, Co-Founder, Fertility Match Canada
We know Surrogacy can be confusing to women who are in the early stages of considering this life changing gift. We get so many similar questions, so we thought we would answer them in a blog post! If you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to speak to you about Surrogacy.
Will the child be genetically related to me?
No, the child will not be genetically related to you. At Fertility Match, we only work with Gestational Surrogates. In Gestational Surrogacy, the Intended Mother, or Egg Donor, undergoes an egg retrieval. Her eggs are then fertilized with the Intended Father’s sperm, or the sperm from a donor. The fertilized egg becomes an embryo. The Gestational Surrogate then undergoes the embryo transfer.
Do I get to choose to work with an OB, Midwife, or Doula?
Yes. By the 12th week of pregnancy, you will be released by the fertility clinic and will get to choose which kind of prenatal care you prefer. We ask you to tell us your preference when you are coming into the program, so we can match you with IP’s that are on board with your care and birth plan. We have you fill out a Surrogate application and learn about your preferences, so that we can select IP’s that would best support you in the pregnancy.
Can I be a Surrogate if I haven’t given birth?
One of the requirements in being a Surrogate is that you have had a least one child of your own. A fertility clinic will not screen you in as a Surrogate if these criteria is not met. At Fertility Match, we ask that you have had at least one pregnancy without complications. Because we want the best for you as the Surrogate and the IP’s baby, we need to see a history of a healthy pregnancy.
Will I have to pay for my pregnancy-related expenses?
No, the Surrogacy journey is at no cost to you. You will be reimbursed for your pregnancy-related expenses up to $30,000. This can include things such as groceries, maternity clothes, lost wages for appointments, etc. Before the embryo transfer, you would be reimbursed for your travel expenses. The amounts may vary, depending on different pregnancy factors (twins, C-section, and any complications that may arise).
Will I see the children after the birth?
The IPs in our program are looking to work with a Surrogate who will be an extension of their family and be a special “aunt” to their children after the birth. It is up to you and the IPs to discuss what you feel comfortable with as contact after the birth. We also ask this question before matching you with IPs, so that the couple you are matched with has a similar expectation of contact after the birth.
Will I have to travel away from home?
We will discuss with you what your desires are for travel related to medical appointments. We understand that not all Surrogates are able to travel due to family commitments. We have Intended Parents from all over Canada, so it is your choice what your parameters are.
Do I get to choose the Intended Parents I carry for?
Absolutely. You can choose to work with a same sex couple, heterosexual couple, or a single man or woman. We have Intended Parents who require a Surrogate for different reasons, such as cancer survivors and those with infertility. We leave it up to you who you would like to work with.
Considering Surrogacy? Do you have any other questions? Click here to contact us and one of our Fertility Consultants would be happy to speak with you.
It’s a question we do get asked often: should I tell my child they were conceived with a donor egg? The short answer: yes. At Fertility Match, we strongly believe that you should always tell your child that they were conceived through egg donation. There are so many reasons – medical, ethical, logical, and practical – that you should tell your child the truth. We’ll cover a few in this post, but one of our Fertility Consultants is always available to chat in depth.
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons to tell your child about the realities of their conceptions is really simple: it’s inevitably going to come out anyways. With services like ancestry.ca and 23andMe, more and more people are releasing their DNA information to the world and finding genetic relatives they never knew – or were never told – they had. In the past, it was possible to keep adoptions and family histories secret enough that no one would ask questions, but with technology today that just isn’t realistic.
Not only do these services now exist, sometimes there are activities in school that might address your child’s familial history. Many high school and university biology classes now discuss genetic inheritance. Your child realizing in the middle of class that their genetics don’t make sense with yours because of their eye or hair colour or even blood type would be the worst possible way to start this conversation.
Medically speaking, telling your child about the realities of their conception (in an age appropriate way, of course – more on that in a future post) is incredibly important. When your child grows up, they may experience things you haven’t because of their genetics are different from yours. This could be something as simple as needing glasses or braces, but no matter what it’s best that your child knows the realities of their medical history so that they can get the best possible medical care throughout the course of their life.
Psychologically, it’s best for your child to know about all of this early on – otherwise, they could be dealing with feelings of betrayal because they were not told the truth, even though you had only the best of intentions, as all parents do.
At Fertility Match, we know that you have the best intentions, hopes, and dreams for your child and your family. We understand that these are hard conversations to have, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. That’s why we encourage all of our Intended Parents to come to us with their concerns and questions about this subject. We are here to talk about these things with you!
If you’re thinking about egg donation to build your family, please contact us today to talk to one of our Fertility Consultants.
The Surrogacy journey involves more than just the Surrogate and Intended Parents. Surrogacy is a family journey and it involves all those that are dearest to you. There are elements of the Surrogacy experience that can impact their lives and the concept of Surrogacy may be new to them. Partners and surrounding family and friends may have questions and concerns when they hear about your decision to explore Surrogacy. Their responses may surprise you – it may be confusing for them to first understand this life changing journey you have generously chosen to embark on.
At Fertility Match, we can help educate your friends, family, and/or spouse to ensure that you have a wonderful Surrogacy journey. Our Surrogacy Personal Support Program is run by Mike Casselman, husband of Fertility Match Co-Founder and 2x Surrogate Lisa Casselman. We truly believe that the best resource for the supports of our Surrogates is someone who has firsthand experience supporting a Surrogate.
Surrogacy is not a journey you embark on alone. It will set a wonderful example for your children, inspire your spouse with your selflessness, and have a lifelong impact on your loved ones. Mike will sit down with your support(s) to discuss what is involved in supporting a Surrogate, and answer any questions they may have about Surrogacy. During the journey, he is also available to speak to them if any concerns arise.
In Mike’s words: “My goal is to make sure anyone in the role of support for a Surrogate in our program understands just how important their role is and how much a part of the journey and story they are. I understand this from a partner point of view and can guide a Surrogates’ support system through the journey, answering questions at every stage.”
Reach out to us today to learn more about our Surrogacy program and how you can make families a reality for deserving people.
Read about Co-Founder and 2x Surrogate Lisa’s first experience at a fertility clinic.
I was completely caught off guard the first time I walked into a fertility clinic for cycle monitoring. My thoughts were that I would be walking into an empty, quiet waiting room where a lab tech was waiting for my arrival. I was extremely short sighted.
I did walk into a very quiet waiting room — eerily so. The waiting room was completely packed. Couples holding each other’s hands, individuals trying to look occupied by their phone or an old issue of Canadian Living Magazine. I was frozen where I stood, looking around, processing what I was seeing. These people were here because of the struggle with infertility.
I knew and understood that infertility was an issue. I was a Surrogate, matched with a couple who at the time were 8 years into their journey to a child.
So, if I knew about this, why was I stranded in a crowded waiting room so surprised? Truthfully, I didn’t fully understand how many people infertility affected. 1 in 6 couples. That’s a sobering statistic. Why didn’t I know? Simply, the stigma that surrounds it.
The reality of those all those people at the clinic with infertility, is that they were not alone. The stigma of being labelled as infertile is not something anyone wants. While there should be no shame in having difficulties conceiving it is still experienced because infertility has only recently become a topic discussed in the news or social media.
The only way to reduce the stigma attached to infertility is to encourage the conversation and to support those who are facing difficulties conceiving.
As I started writing this blog I wondered, do I have the right to have an opinion about infertility? After all, I’m one of those women who conceived without issue. So easily, that I carried babies for others. No one struggling with infertility wants to hear from me and how easy I had it.
I considered that if the stigma around infertility needs to change, then maybe those of us who don’t struggle should make the first move to be the change. We can choose to be advocates for others. We can help to change laws for fertility treatments and financial compensation for surrogates or decide to be surrogates or egg donors. We can do more simple things as well. We can stop asking friends or family those dreaded questions “When are you going to start a family?” Or “Do you not want kids?”
All in all, infertility is a topic that shouldn’t be swept under the rug, but rather, one that we should all be aware of. Let’s work on educating ourselves and our society on the prevalence and challenges that couples and individuals go through while trying to build a family. The struggles that individuals and families face regarding infertility should be part of a journey to other ways of creating life. We hope that at Fertility Match, we can create the necessary stepping stones to destigmatize infertility, and create a discussion about third party reproduction.
Our dream at Fertlity Match is to connect couples and individuals in finding the right Surrogate or Egg Donor, and to make families a reality. Choose Fertility Match as your Fertility Consulting Agency, and we promise to make your journey to building a family a wonderful and positive experience.