Surrogate Mother Checklist
Determine if surrogacy is right for you.
If you are contemplating surrogacy, seriously consider all issues prior to making a decision to go ahead. You'll also want to check to see if you meet the basic requirements to be a surrogate. (Please see our Surrogate Mother Qualifications Page).
Before pursuing a surrogacy arrangement educate yourself with as much information as you can. There are many resources online and it can be helpful to speak with others that have already experienced surrogacy.
Before pursuing a surrogacy arrangement do you have the support of others around you such as your partner and/or family/friends? Do you have emotional and physical support persons who could care for you and your children in the event of severe morning sickness, bedrest or pregnancy complications?
Once we have received your application we will email you to set up a date/time for your phone consult. During this consult we will assess your candidacy to be a surrogate, go over the surrogacy process, and answer any questions/concerns you may have. If you decide at this time you would like to move forward as a surrogate, we will list your picture and basic information on our website (members section) and email your profile to intended parents. You can choose to have your profile go to all intended parents or only the ones that meet the preferences you may have (such as location). During your membership you can contact Surrogacy in Canada Online anytime if you have questions and/or concerns.
Meeting & Matching
Intended parents will receive your profile by email. If they are interested in considering you as their surrogate mother, they will contact you by email introducing themselves. During this time, you may respond to the intended parents you are interested in matching with. Many intended parents will want to make arrangements to call, meet or facetime/skype to get to know you better. Once you've found the intended parent(s) you would like to help and they've asked you to be their surrogate (and you say yes)… it's a match! Be sure you are all on the same page with the important considerations of a surrogacy arrangement. (Some intended parents will ask their surrogate mother for a criminal background check. If they do, you can request one from them as well).
Once you have matched, the first step is to travel to the IVF clinic your intended parent(s) is/are using for your medical and psychological screening. This typically involves a one day trip with all travelling expenses paid for by the intended parent(s). (For traditional surrogacy you may travel to the IVF clinic or your family doctor for a medical assessment depending on whether you are doing IVF or home inseminations).
Expenses & Reimbursement
Any pregnancy/surrogacy related expenses you may incur during this process will be covered by the intended parents. Typical expenses include mileage, travel (accommodations/flights), lost wages, meals, maternity clothes, and childcare. It’s important that you provide your intended parents with documentation (via email/text or mail) of your anticipated expenses and receipts. (See our Expenses & Reimbursement Page).
After passing medical and psychological screening, we refer both parties to separate legal representation to begin contracts (this is paid for by the intended parent(s)). Communication with your lawyer is typically done via phone/email. Once contracts are finalized and signed, you will move into the medical phase of the journey to get pregnant. We strongly recommend purchasing a life insurance policy (and will) to protect your family during this process (this is paid for by the intended parent(s)). (See our Canadian Insurance Agent Page). *It's important to have your life insurance in place before any attempts at pregnancy.
Cycling & Getting Pregnant
For gestational surrogacy, the IVF clinic will instruct you with taking hormonal medication to prepare your body to accept your intended parents embryo(s). This medication may be oral/nasal/vaginal or injectables (cycling protocol varies among clinics). You will travel to the IVF clinic for ultrasounds (to check your uterine lining) and the embryo transfer procedure (both one day trips paid for by the intended parents). For traditional surrogacy you may either undergo the IVF process to create embryos or do home inseminations. (Traditional surrogacy makes up less than 2% of surrogacy arrangements).
During your pregnancy you can choose to see your own doctor/obstetrician/midwife. Most surrogates are accompanied by their intended parents at pre-natal appointments. Some intended parents choose to do gender reveal parties, maternity photos or baby showers with their surrogate. Enjoy your pregnancy together!
Birth & Post Partum
You can choose to give birth in a hospital, clinic/centre or homebirth. You may want to enlist the aid of a doula and/or birth photographer at this time. You are going to the give the most incredible gift… the gift of life! Many surrogates provide breastmilk to their intended parent(s) and baby if possible. The majority of Canadian surrogates and intended parents become lifelong friends after the birth of the baby.