My name is Sally Rhoads-Heinrich, and I am the owner and administrator of Surrogacy in Canada Online. I have tremendous passion for surrogacy as an alternative for infertile couples and it is with high hopes that my site is a valuable resource for information, referral and support for Canadians involved with third party reproduction.
In 2000, I was honoured to be chosen as a gestational surrogate for a Maryland couple and carry and deliver their boy and girl twins, Victoria and Peter. I had a wonderful and rewarding experience and it is a pure joy to see the family I helped create growing and loving life to the fullest.
Since the birth of the twins I have tried to help many other infertile couples by undergoing 8 more I.V.F cycles as a gestational surrogate with unfortunately no success (4 miscarriages including 1 twin ectopic). The women I had tried to help had varying types of infertility ranging from Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, to heart conditions, diabetes, hypertension, hysterectomy due to cancer/fibroids and unexplained infertility. I have also devoted my time over the last 14 years to not only my website but to third party reproduction forums, email listservs and media.
I live in southwestern Ontario with my husband Christoph (Chris) and our four children, Tristan, Kieran, Clara & Markus. We operate Heinrich Farms Ltd. (grain & oilseeds production) as well as Heinrich Stables.
I graduated with honours as a Mental Health Counsellor in 1999 from Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario (Native Community Care: Counselling & Development Program). I thoroughly enjoy helping both intended parents and surrogate mothers with their questions and concerns.
I feel every couple has a right to alternative reproductive options so that they can experience the joys of raising a child, that in most surrogacy arrangements, is genetically related to themselves.
All the best to you in your surrogacy journey!
Proud Member of ...
Egg Donor / Surrogate Support Worker
My name is Karen McAnerin and I live in Bowmanville, Ontario with my husband Scott and our two children, Myla and Brodyn. I was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario and moved away following highschool to pursue my post secondary education. In May 2005 I graduated from the Funeral Services Program at Humber College in Toronto and passed my Ontario Board Exams and officially became a Funeral Director and Embalmer in August 2005. I am now a stay at home Mom, a decision my husband and I made after our daughter was born, and I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to stay home with the kids while they are small.
I am now a retired egg donor, having donated five times (both anonymous and known) and am also an experienced gestational surrogate. As a teenager I saw a documentary on surrogacy and I knew if given the opportunity that I wanted to help give the gift of life and family to someone, even though at that age I didn’t fully understand what it meant emotionally. When Myla was born in 2007 and I was still in the hospital, I knew instantly that once we were done having our own family (we planned on two), that I wanted to give someone else the opportunity to become parents, via egg donation and surrogacy. While in the hospital and looking down at our precious new baby girl, the thoughts of wanting and not being able to conceive children gave me such an indescribably sad feeling. Knowing how lucky we were to have our new beautiful baby girl, especially after a very intense and scary delivery (a true emergency c-section due to a prolapsed cord) it further pushed my desire to want to help others achieve their dreams of parenthood.
Our son Brodyn was born in 2009, completing our perfect family of four. With the full support of my amazing husband, the decision was made, I would start my adventure into the World of Third Party Reproduction as an egg donor. In July 2010 I had my first egg retrieval as an anonymous donor. Although having limited details, I was told that the Intended Mother did indeed get pregnant. It was such a gratifying experience that it further enhanced my desire to become a surrogate. Once Brodyn was out of the "baby" stage, we began looking for our perfect match to embark on a surrogacy journey with. After speaking with a few Intended Parents, we were extremely fortunate to meet an absolutely amazing single Daddy-to-be through Sally. Although we met as complete strangers, the friendship and bond that formed is that of a lifetime and he is such a huge part of our family. In May 2012 I gave birth to his gorgeous baby boy full term, but unfortunately there were unforeseen complications with his health when he was born and he passed away at just 8 weeks old. The experience has changed me in many ways as the idea of loss is not something I was not prepared for, especially when helping to create a family. It has allowed me to view the process in a different light, and I have gained a different perspective on life as a Mother, Funeral Director, Egg Donor and Surrogate.
I have a strong passion for helping others and I'm excited to have been given a great opportunity to join Sally and lend my assistance as her Egg Donor/Surrogate Support Worker. I look forward to getting to know you and helping to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the process.
All the best,
Surrogate Support Worker
My name is Sara Karklins and I live in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. I am a single Mom to my two amazing children, my daughter born in 2004 and my son in 2008. Being a Mother has been the most challenging and the most rewarding experience of my life.
I first learned about surrogacy right after my daughter was born in 2004. I remember I was watching a show on TV interviewing 2 sisters. One was a cancer survivor, and the other acted as her surrogate. As I was watching this and held my newborn baby, a little voice in my head said, “This is something I could do. I can help someone else to have a family.” But it wasn’t until my son was approaching his first birthday in the Spring of 2009, that I did anything about it
At that time, it seemed like everywhere I looked there were signs pointing me towards surrogacy. First in a book I had been reading and then while looking through unrelated ads on Kijiji. It was on TV, and in the news. Everywhere I looked, there was surrogacy!
After spending a few months doing my research and then approaching my husband with the idea, I began my first journey as a Gestational Surrogate. I “matched” with a traditional Jewish couple living in Toronto. Things progressed rather quickly and only 4.5 months after meeting, and a single round of IVF, I was pregnant with their baby girl. It was a textbook pregnancy, and we welcomed her to the world in July of 2010.
Several months later, after meeting friends that I had met through an online support group for intended parents and surrogates, I started on my second journey as a surrogate. Little did I know back then how different this journey would be from the first.
Between July 2011 and November 2012 I underwent 5 failed cycles of IVF with my intended fathers. With each cycle our clinic would change my medications, or suggest a new alternative therapy such as acupuncture to increase our chance of conception, but nothing worked. We couldn’t know for sure what the problem was, if it was the quality of the eggs or sperm, a possible genetic issue, or if it was just that I was the wrong surrogate.
The doubt, and worry, and fear that I felt cannot possibly compare to what is felt by intended parents going through infertility treatment for themselves, but it gave me a much closer view and a better understanding of just how devastating infertility can be. If it was that bad for me, I can only imagine how terrible it feels when it is your own family that you are trying to create.
My intended fathers never lost hope, or faith in me as their surrogate, so I agreed to one last transfer attempt. We transferred 2 perfect embryos on Easter Sunday in 2013, and 7 days later I finally got to say those 7 words I’d been wanting to say for over 3 years, “I’m Pregnant! You’re going to be Daddies!” Two weeks later this was followed by two more beautiful words, “It’s Twins!”
We welcomed beautiful boy/girl twins to the world in October 2013, when my water broke at exactly 32 weeks gestation. It was an easy labour, but a scary time for us all as we worried about how the twins would fair after being born so early, but after only 3 weeks of time in the NICU, they were able to go home and finally be with their fathers.
Surrogacy has brought so much to my life, and I can think of no better way to pay back my good fortune, then by helping others find their way through this process. I’m grateful to Sally for giving me the opportunity to help by offering peer support, and whatever knowledge I can to help ease the way for others who are feeling as I did 5 short years ago.
Best Wishes and Baby Dust!
West Coast Surrogate Support Worker
My name is Kathryn (Kate) Hadley-Firth and I live in Victoria, British Columbia with my husband Andrew and our two children. I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia but in October 2009 my husband was posted to the West Coast with his job as a communication technician with the Navy. I am a pharmacy technician and work 32 hours a week for the Cool Aid Society. We are a not-for-profit organization helping the marginalized people of downtown Victoria and I can truly say I love my job!
I am an experienced gestational surrogate which is something I always wanted to do after I saw my brother and his wife struggle to have a second baby (they never did have a second baby unfortunately). After having my own children Miles and Charlotte, becoming a surrogate mother was something I just needed to do.
In January 2011 I started looking into the whole world of surrogacy and I was drawn to surrogacy.ca and Sally ... my dream of helping someone become a mom or dad was started. I met my first set of intended parents in February 2011 and had twin boys April 28th, 2012. After that journey I thought I was done, but while looking through the intended parent profiles my son Miles (6 years old at the time) said "Mom do all these people need someone to have a baby for them?" I replied "Yes." Miles then turned to me and said "I think we can do this one more time." So we did! I met my second set of intended parents February 2013 and had twin girls for them on January 22nd, 2014.
My dream of helping was amazing and since I can't be a surrogate again I am very excited to be able to help in other ways. I am looking forward to working with Sally and the other amazing people at Surrogacy in Canada Online. I look forward to helping you!
East Coast/French Surrogate Support Worker
My name is Isabelle LeBlanc. I live in a small community north of Moncton, New-Brunswick with my husband and three kids. I am presently a stay-at-home mom with a love of photography, writing and painting.
I've always been a big fan of the TV show "Friends", and in one of the story lines of the show, a character (Phoebe), was a surrogate mother for her brother. That is where the idea of surrogacy came from for me. I never thought I'd actually go through with it, but years later, the idea was still floating in my mind.
In August 2012, I gave birth to my third child. Even though I felt that my family was complete, I wanted to be pregnant again. Surrogacy was calling me and that's when I decided to look further into it and start my research. I wanted to help and give the gift of life to a family.
In February 2013, I "matched" with an incredible couple from Nova Scotia through Sally's website. We went through many ups and downs during our journey. We had one failed transfer, two cancelled cycles and finally, one successful transfer. In April 2015, I gave birth to their beautiful baby boy and I cannot be more proud of myself.
During those two years, I learned a lot about the surrogacy world and I'm more than happy to stay connected to it by being a part of Sally's team. I'm looking forward to help you!
Mon nom est Isabelle LeBlanc. Je demeure dans une petite communauté au nord de Moncton au Nouveau-Brunswick avec mon mari et mes trois enfants. Je suis présentement "maman à la maison" et j'ai un amour pour la photographie, l'écriture et la peinture.
J'ai toujours été une adepte de la série télé "Friends". Dans une des intrigues de la série, un personnage (Phoebe), a été mère porteuse pour son frère. Mon idée de devenir mère porteuse a débuté à ce moment. Je ne pensais pas réellement le faire, mais, des années plus tard, l'idée me flottait toujours en tête.
En août 2012, j'ai donné naissance à mon troisième enfant. Même si je ressentais que ma famille était complète, je voulais être enceinte à nouveau. Être mère porteuse m'appelait et c'est à cet instant que j'ai décidé de commencer ma recherche. Je voulais aider et donner le cadeau de la vie à une famille.
En février 2013, j'ai été "jumelé" avec un couple incroyable de la Nouvelle-Écosse via le site web de Sally. Nous avons eu beaucoup de haut et de bas dans notre aventure. Un transfert qui n'a pas fonctionné, deux cycles annulés, et finalement, un transfert qui eut du succès. En avril 2015, j'ai donné naissance à leur beau petit garçon et je ne pourrais pas être plus fière de moi.
Pendant ces deux années, j'ai beaucoup appris sur le monde des mères porteuses et je suis très heureuse d'y demeurer en connexion en faisant partie de l'équipe de Sally. Ça me fera un plaisir de vous aider!
My name is Jaclyn Swinkels, I'm the current webmaster for Surrogacy in Canada Online. The company I work for, The Net Now has worked with Sally for over 10 years. In 2009 I began creating the current website with Sally and have continued to work with her ever since. My role includes maintaining the current site and also working with Sally on updating/adding to various resources on the site.
As a young woman just starting in my field I remember the day we started working on the website. I was unfamiliar with the world of a surrogacy. I remember discussions with my boss where she explained how surrogacy worked and told me of Sally's surrogacy journey. I've since learned lots through Sally and from reading the stories on the website. I constantly find myself reading materials that Sally has posted. Needless to say I find the information on this site very interesting.
I look forward to continuing to assist with the surrogacy.ca website and am excited for what the future brings as far as further developing different features of the site so it continues to be a go-to resource for those interested in surrogacy.