It’s been almost a month since the last post. But that does not mean that we didn’t do nothing. We decided to start the proces in Canada, but what next? What should we all arrange? And what steps should we take?
A Dutch lawyer
First we started to search for a Dutch lawyer. In the end, the child must have a Dutch passport and we want to become the (legal) parents of the child.
We think it is important that we do not have any surprises afterwards. As soon as the child is there, we want to focus our attention on the child and not be involved in an unnecessary legal process. For this reason, we have started looking for a lawyer in the Netherlands, which has experience with such cases. The lawyer should inform us well and has to ensure that every step we take does not conflict with Dutch law.
After some research on the internet we ended up with Annelieke Bouma, a family law lawyer from Amsterdam, who has already guided such processes several times.
She has given us a number of key issues, which we must take into account throughout the entire process.
The most important points (but certainly not the only ones):
- The surrogate mother must always be mentioned on the birth certificate (there are countries and cases where this does not always happen);
- The surrogate mother must preferably be unmarried (otherwise the Dutch law recognizes the husband, as a father).
The Fertility clinic
We then started looking for a fertility clinic in Canada. All medical treatments (except childbirth) take place with them. In the fertility clinic, our contribution, the egg cell and the surrogate mother come together and the clinic is therefore an important starting point.
We have come in contact with the largest clinic of Canada, CReATe fertility Center. They work together with Babies Come True which acts as a kind of accompanying agency. We therefore had the first intake with Babies come True.
Through a Skype consultation they explain the traject from A to Z. They make suggestions for egg donor agencies and for surrogate mother agencies. If you are still enthusiastic at the end of the consultation, a Skype consultation will be booked with Dr. Librach.
Dr. Librach is the founder of CReATe and is a fertility doctor. He tells you all about the medical ins and outs of the IVF traject. We have experienced him as a very cordial and nice man, who gives you instant confidence in the entire process.
Egg Donor (Agency)
Then you need an egg donor and therefore an egg donor agency. Via CReATe we have come into contact with EggHelpers. Here again we had a Skype consultation, in which the whole process is explained from A to Z.
After this consultation, we have been given access to their donors database. This database is a kind of search engine where you can add various filters (where does the egg donor come from, how tall is the egg donor, hair, eyes, religion etc etc.)
A Canadian lawyer
In Canada there are also a lot of legal issues. A contract with the egg donor, a contract with the surrogate a Canadian passport for the child etc. Etc.
To support us in all these legal matters we have asked for help from Hope Springs fertility Law. The owner of this law firm (Cindy Wasser) is an experienced expert, she hderself has two daughters who have come through a surrogate mother. She understands like no other, where you as an intended parent run into and where she can help you.
Finally, a surrogate is needed and again there are agencies that acts as a supporting party. We are advised to look for a surrogate mother only after the moment when there are already embryos. Once a surrogate has decided that she wants to carry a child for someone else, she often wants to start as soon as possible. A surrogate must plan her entire life around the pregnancy. Once a surrogate has decided to help us and wants to carry our baby, we should not let her wait for the previous steps, but you must be able to start right away.
We are currently in contact with Canadian fertility Consultants (CFC). This is an agency that mediates between surrogate mothers and wishing parents. They expect that as soon as we can start searching it takes 3 to 6 months before we have found a surrogate.
So we have taken some nice steps in the process. The first next step is a trip to Toronto, to make our genetic contribution there. The tickets have been booked, but I will write a separate blog about this.