After many hours of research and discussions with a partner or close family and friends, the intended parent(s) inevitably arrive at the point of finding a surrogate. This can be an incredibly exciting, but also nerve-racking, time for a family. Many intended parent(s) enlist the help of a surrogacy agency to find a surrogate match. Partnering with an agency can ease stress levels for families by lending their expertise on the application process and providing vital support to both intended parent(s) and surrogate mothers. Surrogacy agencies are well-versed in Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR) and can help families understand the legislation and the rights afforded to all parties operating within the surrogacy process.
Another route many intended parent(s) take in their surrogacy search is to look within their own circle of family and friends. Many happy families have been formed through a surrogate chosen from within a group of loved ones. If you are leaning towards a family member or friend, there are certain qualifications that all potential surrogates must meet. These requirements include, but aren’t limited to:
*For a complete list of requirements, visit surrogacy.ca.
If a potential surrogate is identified from a personal connection, the intended parent(s) can still consult an agency to familiarize all parties with the process. While a family member or friend may come with the best intentions, there may be unforeseen barriers to their eligibility or other complexities that a consultant can help identify or clarify. Having an objective party involved, even to a small degree, can be especially beneficial when the intended parent(s) and surrogate are closely bonded.
A very important part of the process involves a legal agreement and contract. Once the intended parents and the surrogate mother have decided that they would like to work together in building a family, a surrogacy agreement (often referred to as a surrogacy contract) must be drafted and negotiated, setting out the legal obligations and rights of each party. Once a baby is born via surrogacy, further legal steps need to be taken in order for the intended parent(s) to be declared the legal parents of the child.
Finding a surrogate who will play an indispensable role in bringing your child into the world, can seem like a daunting undertaking. Thankfully, there are many resources in Canada to assist intended parent(s) in this vital step towards parenthood. Whichever course you take, trust that it will be the right one for your family and your future little one(s).