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...