The Importance of Surrogate Support

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.

Breaking the Stigma

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.

Why Become A Fertility Match Surrogate?

Infertility in Canada

Infertility rates are on the rise. Approximately 15% of Canadian families struggle with infertility each year, a ten percent increase since the 1980’s. Surrogacy bridges this infertility gap and gives couples a viable option.

There are many reasons for this rise in infertility and the need for surrogates. Many cancer survivors are rendered infertile due to treatments. Various illnesses and medical complications require women to have partial or total hysterectomies. Conditions such as PCOS cause reproductive organs to not function properly. Complications from previous births can result in infertility and some women are be born without uteruses. Additionally gay men who want to be fathers have to turn to surrogacy.

 

Why be a Surrogate?

By becoming a surrogate you get to give one of the greatest gifts and make a positive social change. You will be helping caring people become loving parents and help to create a family that otherwise would not exist. Surrogacy gives you a an everlasting sense of pride and accomplishment as well as a lifelong bond and connection with the family you help create.

Why Choose Fertility Match?

Fertility Match is unique in that it’s run by women who have been in your shoes. Lisa Casselman has been a surrogate twice, giving birth to two sets of twins, and and Liz Ellwood used a surrogate and egg donor to have her daughter after surviving cancer. Fertility Match was founded with the mission to create a positive experience for everyone involved in the fertility process. Fertility Match is Canada’s only low volume customized fertility consulting agency.  We work directly with all our surrogates, egg donors, and intended parents to ensure a personalized and positive experience. The Fertility Match Surrogates and Intended Parents are expertly screened to ensure that your desired journey and the intended parents desired journey match up. We want you and your intended parents to have a good connection and analyze personality profiles to ensure it. The Fertility Match difference is that our focus is on you and your experience.

Top 5 things to Consider when becoming a Surrogate Mother in Canada

Top 5 things to Consider when becoming a Surrogate Mother in Canada

Top 5 things to Consider When Becoming a Surrogate Mother in Canada

It is a truly wonderful thing to consider becoming a Surrogate Mother to help another become a parent. Through surrogacy, you are allowing another young, hopeful family to experience the miracle of life. There are few experiences that compare to being a surrogate mother. The decision to become a Surrogate Mother is not one that should be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider when making this decision.

Being a Surrogate Mother in Canada is something that will positively change your life as well as the lives of the Intended Parent(s) you will be helping. That is why it is important to be fully prepared, in order to make an informed decision.

What are the top 5 things to consider before becoming a Surrogate Mother in Canada?

  1. Physical prerequisites
  2. Mental prerequisites
  3. Lifestyle prerequisites
  4. Support network
  5. Choosing a suitable and credible agency

1. Physical Prerequisites for a Surrogate Mother in Canada

Before you can become a Surrogate in Canada, there are certain physical requirements that need to be met. Being of good overall health is necessary for aspiring Surrogate Mothers. Here are some other physical requirements:

  • You must be a Canadian Citizen with active provincial health insurance
  • Must be between the ages of 21 and 45
  • Must already be a parent that had a complication-free pregnancy and birth
  • Regular menstrual cycles
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) must be lower than 32
  • No history of hereditary physical illnesses or diseases

A certain level of physical fitness is also required. BMI is calculated by looking at your height to weight ratio. Here is the equation to figure it out:

  • Weight (kg) / Height X 2 (m)
  • If you score less than 32 you can be eligible for surrogacy.

2. Mental Prerequisites for a Surrogate Mother

The process to become a Surrogate Mother isn’t always easy. There can be many ups and downs along the journey.

Surrogacy candidates should be of sound mind and willing to make the mental commitment needed to endure the process. The process of bearing a child to term is stressful as is, under any circumstances, and the surrogacy factor – the knowledge that the child being carried is to be given to someone else to raise, once he or she is born – can be an emotional journey in itself.

Some mental prerequisites include:

  • Willingness to be subject to various psychological assessments
  • No history of psychological problems
  • No issue with relinquishing child or children after birth

3. Lifestyle Prerequisites for a Surrogate Mother

Prospective surrogate mothers will need to live a healthy lifestyle free of harmful habits or behaviours. Some of these lifestyle requirements are:

  • Maintain a nutritious diet with regular exercise
  • No smoking, drug use, or alcohol abuse
  • Be willing to have background checks done on you (and your spouse if relevant)
  • No travel to areas infected with the ZIKA virus in the previous 6 months
  • Willing and able to travel to appointments with lawyers and doctors
  • Able to come in to the fertility clinic when required
  • Flexible schedule that allows time away from work and family
  • Willing and able to take IVF medications

4. Support Network for a Surrogate Mother

It is extremely important to have a positive support network in place that you can turn to for emotional support and encouragement. Friends, Family, a Partner that you can rely on for doctor appointments, childcare, any bed rest and the delivery are an incredibly valuable resource for any Surrogate Mother to have when going on this journey.

5. Choosing a Suitable and Credible Fertility Consulting Agency in Canada

Becoming a surrogate mother is an enormous and rewarding undertaking. You definitely want to make sure you are working with an agency that is right for you, with your best interests in mind.

Fertility Match is a Fertility Consulting Company that truly understands the entire surrogacy process, and what the participants go through. The co-founders of Fertility Match have active experience as both a Surrogate in Canada and Intended Parent in Canada. This can provide surrogates with tremendous comfort and reassurance, knowing they have someone to turn to for empathy and support.

Top 5 Reasons to be a Surrogate Mother in Canada

Top 5 Reasons to be a Surrogate Mother in Canada

Top 5 Reasons to be a Surrogate Mother in Canada

Infertility is a serious concern for many Intended Parents across Canada and becoming a Surrogate Mother can change a family forever. The inability to conceive a child can happen for several reasons. Some of these factors include anovulation, hormonal imbalance, ovary scarring, age, or lack of necessary biological equipment in the case of homosexual couples and single gay Intended Parents.

The choice to become a Surrogate Mother is not an easy one. It really does take a strong, confident, and physically capable woman to carry a baby to term for Intended Parents.

What are the top 5 reasons to become a Surrogate Mother in Canada?

There are lots of advantages for becoming a Surrogate Mother. Generally, women decide to become surrogates because of a genuine desire to help others in need. It really is the ultimate selfless act.

Here are the top 5 reasons to become a Surrogate Mother:

  • The gift of life
  • Emotionally rewarding
  • Battle against infertility
  • Become a role model
  • Paying it forward

The Gift of Life

What greater gift could you possibly bestow upon another human being than the gift of life? Infertility can bring tremendous pain and suffering to Intended Parents that are not able to conceive. Some couples try and try again to conceive using multiple methods and approaches, only to be disappointed time after time. There are also lots of same sex couples that want to expand their families with a child, but are not able to biologically conceive one.

Helping Intended Parents realize their dreams by giving them the gift of life can be an incredibly rewarding and life-changing experience.

Emotionally Rewarding

Being a surrogate mother is obviously an emotional experience. It is an experience you will share with the Intended Parents as they prepare for a new addition to their family. The deep appreciation this new family will have for your contribution to it, is something that will last a lifetime. Some surrogates have reported that seeing the look of joy on the parents faces when meeting their newborn child is one of the most satisfying experiences imaginable.

Fight the Battle Against Infertility

Infertility issues bring heartbreak to Intended Parents on a daily basis. By becoming a Surrogate Mother, you are taking real action to help people overcome these hardships. These Intended Parents have no other options except to rely on the generosity of people like you to solve a seemingly impossible problem.

Become a Role Model

Becoming a Surrogate Mother is a real statement about your strength of character and your capacity for self-sacrifice, in order to aid and support others in need. Acts of such a selfless nature garner respect from friends and loved ones, as well as your community as a whole.

If you have kids of your own, it is a great opportunity to demonstrate the human capacity for kindness and giving.

Paying it Forward

A Surrogate Mother must have their own children to embark on this journey for others. Many women choose to be a Surrogate because they have been blessed with their own children and they want other people to experience that joy. They ability to give back and help another person in need is very appealing. Surrogates want to #be the change in someone’s fertility story.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Surrogate Mother in Canada, call our Fertility Consultants today.  We have personal experience and the expertise to help you make the right decision for you.

What Should a Surrogate Mother Look For in Potential Intended Parents?

What Should a Surrogate Mother Look For in Potential Intended Parents?

Becoming a Surrogate Mother is a very personal choice. The reasons why a woman chooses to be a Surrogate Mother vary. I chose to be a Surrogate Mother to help another woman who couldn’t conceive become a mother. When starting out on your journey as a Surrogate Mother, take time to think about who you are meant to help. Is it a single parent, a heterosexual couple or a same sex couple?

Once you decide who are wanting to help as aSurrogate Mother, you will begin to “date” potential Intended Parents. This is a very important part of the process. Just like dating a potential romantic interest , you quickly learn what you are looking for in this relationship.

Are you looking for someone who is wanting the same amount of contact as you are? For me, this wasn’t my birth story. This story belongs to the Intended Parents I worked with and to their babies. I was just the person who was lucky enough to birth them into this world. I wanted Intended Parents who shared that outlook. My Intended Parents were at all my appointments and were in the delivery room. I also wanted to make sure that parents cut the cords of their babies as my husband and I had done for ours.

How do you feel about selective reduction or termination of pregnancy due to birth defects in the fetus? This is a very important subject and one that makes you look inward. I needed to find Intended Parents who would take any number of children that resulted from this Surrogacy. I was not in favour of selective reduction for multiples. With that being said, I felt that I could not decide what another person could live with if it was determined that the fetus had a birth defect. In that case, I was willing to terminate if the Intended Parents chose.

Intended Parents are looking for certain things when it comes to their Surrogate Mother too. They will be dating you as much as you are dating them. I have spoken to couples who said their Surrogate was to only eat organic foods, or would refrain from exercising. I even spoke with someone who said they didn’t want their Surrogate to have an epidural during birth. And while those aren’t the people I chose to work with, there is a Surrogate out there for them that will work with their choices. It’s all very personal.

The main thing for me in my journeys was the relationship I built with my Intended Parents. I did not know them ahead of time. We were complete strangers who took the time to build an honest and open friendship. I wanted to feel like we could talk about anything. My Intended Parents and I became support systems for each other through the ups and downs of fertility treatments while fulfilling their dreams to be parents.

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