Five Things I Learned About Surrogacy
As someone who recently went through the process of surrogacy, welcoming a mischievous little boy 11 months ago, there are certain themes that stood out. Hopefully these key callouts provide guidance for anyone thinking about or about to embark on their own surrogacy experience. While surrogacy is truly an amazing way to grow a family it isn’t without its own set of obstacles and challenges.
1. It’s widely understood that surrogacy laws differ from country to country. But they also differ from province to province. State to state. Make sure you consult a lawyer that knows the in’s and out’s of the process not just of where you live but where your surrogate will be giving birth. The surrogacy laws, especially in Canada, are constantly evolving so make sure you are up to date on the current processes and procedures. In my case, for example, if your baby is born via surrogacy in Quebec but the parents are from Ontario, you must go through an adoption process after the birth which can take up to six months to finalize.
2. Surrogacy is a lot like online dating. Not every connection will be a match so don’t try and force it. I remember how eager my husband and I were when we started searching for our super woman. But we trusted our instincts and if someone we met didn’t feel like a fit we moved on.
3. In Canada, a surrogate cannot be compensated for carrying a baby. It’s against the law. However, that doesn’t mean that surrogacy in Canada is going to be inexpensive. It might not cost as much as in the United States, where you are allowed to pay a surrogate for their services, but it won’t be cheap. Take time to budget and be as prepared as possible because once your surrogate it pregnant it all moves very, very fast.
4. Facebook groups for surrogacy are key! The surrogacy community, especially in Canada, is a tight knit group and an amazing resource for both potential surrogates and IPs (Intended Parents). Join these groups. Connect with others. It will give you a place to go when you have those questions that only other people going through exactly what you are going through will be able to answer.
5. Remember to take care of yourself! Making sure your surrogate is healthy and well taken care of is paramount but don’t neglect your own physical and mental health. Make time for self-care, journal, meditate. It’s so important to check in with yourself. As a breast cancer survivor, knowing I wouldn’t be breastfeeding my baby was a constant reminder of all that I had been through and all the things that cancer took from me. Speaking with my therapist about this helped me to make peace with where I was now and confidant that I would be able to still connect with my newborn. – Sarah DiMuro
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