Saturday, October 9, 2010

Taking the First Step

I made contact with the surrogacy agency that SJ told me about. Actually, SJ had already spoken to woman in charge on my behalf so she knew a little about me. It was a very difficult phone call. I had many pauses where I just couldn't believe what I was talking about and then I started to well up. I was in my office at school, so I fortunately, I couldn't get too out of control with the crying.

She walked me through the process and if you put the piece of me not actually being pregnant aside, it is not that bad. This agency takes care of everything. She told me that it may take a few weeks to find a GC as the criteria for CCRM is quite specific (imagine that) and she wants to make sure that the GC will pass the check-up. OK. She also said that I can begin looking now, and if by some miracle we don't need to go this route, we are under no obligation. That is such a relief. I was so worried that I would need to pay the agency up front for looking for the GC, I feel much more comfortable now. We only need to pay once the GC is approved. I can handle that.

I got a basic outline of the fees and it seems in Canada, it is not nearly as expensive as the States. Since it is illegal in Canada to pay someone to donate their gametes or carry the pregnancy, the fees are greatly reduced. The 'compensation' is for out of pocket expenses and the like.

Breakdown of fees:

$8000 - $12000 legal fees (covers all pre and post items for both me and the GC)
$18000 first time GC fee
$2000 for twins
$2000 for c-section either elective or determined necessary by OB
*don't have the specifics on the agency fee yet

There will be some hidden costs as well. For example, if she gets put on bedrest, I am responsible for the difference between her lost wages and sick benefits.

In the end, the price is close to a donor cycle at CCRM, crazy expensive, but in the end what isn't these days?

The next step is to put our profile together. This is where A. and I sit down and go over what we are looking for in a GC. This is infinitely harder than looking for the donor. There we had criteria, there were no what if questions. With this, it is the what if questions that freak me out. I don't know how I feel about selective reduction or termination of pregnancy if god forbid a disability is found so how can I answer? This is something that A. and I will need to consider very carefully. To those of you that have been through this process, any advice you can share would be so appreciated.

I have to say that overall I got a good feeling from her and it sounds like it would be an easy relationship. Phew. I have very high standards for my reproductive team and so I am glad she passed my initial once over.

I am also so impressed with A. I thought he would freak out at me taking this step, but he was really good with it. He hopes (as do I) that it will not come to this, but he is supportive of this next leg of the journey. I am so lucky that all the shit from the summer is finally completely behind us. We are a united front and that is how it should be.

When I started this blog last December, I never imagined myself in this place...



  1. So interesting R. I am glad to know that CDN surrogacy agencies aren't as expensive in the US. I think finding a local surrogate would be the way to go so that you have more of a chance to be connected to the pregnancy. I applaud you for taking this first step. Your strength and grace continues to amaze me. And first impressions are everything...I hope you don't need a GC, but if you do, you are on your way. Very interesting post.

  2. So glad you took the first step. Oh, Canada, glorious and cheaper. I heard that it is between eighty and a hundred grand here for surrogacy. This is good to know. Glad you and A are on together on this.


  3. This is so overwhelming I an sure but it sounds like you are well informed. I just wish things were easier for you. (((hugs)))

  4. This is big news. I'm glad you are making the first steps, but still hope you won't need to take this route. But if you do, I know you will make it work. That actually seems like a pretty quick turnaround time for finding a surrogate - I would have thought it would take longer. And the price breakdown is fascinating. Good for you!

  5. Sounds like SJ really thought you needed to take this step, just to dip your toe into the subject. I also definitely hope you'll never have to dip in another toe, but if so it sounds like you're in good hands!

  6. I'm familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. We didn't "choose" characteristics in this way, but we had to hash them out with our carrier. We already knew how we felt about some of the issues you mentioned - if you want more specifics, please feel free to email me at materwelon at gmail dot com. Do a mock cycle if you are allowed before signing contracts. That's my lesson learned.

    It's a scary step, but ultimately, it felt like the right one for us - it didn't work out, but not because it wasn't emotionally the right thing.

    Thinking of you.

  7. i cant even imagine how hard that must have been. ill bet you were incredulous the whole time that you were actually making that phone call!
    i still hold faith that you will not need a GC (especially after seeing the prices!) but im glad to know that if you do end up needing one, that you will be well taken care of, my friend.
    thank you for all of the support and love lately.



  8. I'm so proud of you for taking the first step. I hope it made the whole process seem a little less scary. It's great that you had a good feeling about the agency. I'm still hopeful you won't need a surrogate, but it always helps me to know that I have Plan B, C, D in place just in case.