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  • Writer's pictureJulien Haye

Unexpected Journeys: Our Surrogacy Story Amidst COVID-19

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Surrogacy for gay couples

2 years after registering with our surrogacy agency, little did we know that our dream of becoming LGBT parents was about to take an unexpected turn. It turned out to be the most beautiful and rewarding experience of my life and in the same measure the most stressful. In the midst of unusual times, we embarked on an adventure that would forever change our lives – a surrogacy journey like no other.


Surrogacy Journey in COVID Time


In February 2020, 2 years after we had first registered with our Canadian surrogacy agency, there was still no sign of interest in our profile. And we were increasingly concerned the agency might not find anyone for us. That no one might be interested in supporting two would-be gay fathers.


As we sat in our flat, brainstorming on options, scrolling through endless pages of surrogacy websites and feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainties of the world, little did we know that our dream of becoming parents was about to take an unexpected turn.


COVID hit!


As the world shut down, our dreams of a family felt increasingly more remote. Looking back, I was in a state of fear and grieving for our dream.


We had many exchanges with the agency to understand what was going on. For instance, we were never told where we were on the waiting list, how many interests our profile might have had. We had no data.


It turned out the agency had strengthened their selection criteria and less women were eligible to help. Then, several women had been interested in our profile, but preferred to focus on couples who wanted to “add” to their family. Stated differently, these couples already had a child and wanted another one. This was a reminder that there are many reasons why those fantastic women decide to embark on such journey, and no two are the same.


We felt powerless and none of the options on the table at that point, including starting a new process in the US or registering with a new agency in Canada felt palatable in the middle of a pandemic. So, we agreed we would give the agency another try; I started bugging them regularly and they promoted our profile on their social media. And it worked.


Several months into lockdown we received the long-awaited email: we had been matched with a wonderful woman who would soon become our surrogate.


Long distance relationship with our surrogate


Navigating surrogacy during a global pandemic posed unforeseen challenges. We had talked about how we would meet with our surrogate for a very long time. How we would fly out to Canada to get to know her and her family before embarking on the journey. We wanted to be there for the first ultra-sound and perhaps the embryo transfer. We wanted to build that personal relationship that would be so critical to go through this adventure together.


Clearly, that did not happen. There was no leaving our flat, never mind going to Canada. With travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place, we had to rely solely on virtual communication tools to connect with our surrogate and her family.


In a very odd way, this might have helped us to establish a stronger relationship and, ultimately, the bond of friendship. From video calls to text messages, we found creative ways to establish a deep and meaningful relationship despite the physical distance. And 1,000s of messages, chats and photos later we are still very much chatting multiple times a month to this day.


Meeting our surrogate's family


“My wife is pregnant. This is not mine.”


Her husband is a fantastic human being, not unlike his wife. And clearly, he has a remarkable sense of humour.


It takes certain personality to not only agree to letting your wife do this, but to also be supportive throughout the journey. His wife was about to embark on the most extraordinary journey, a selfless act that would change our life, her life and clearly his.


Building a connection with her family was a unique and heart-warming experience. She decided to gradually introduce us to her children. At first, we were some “friends” from abroad she was in touch with. Only when the pregnancy was confirmed did she formally introduced us and her children turned out to be so open and welcoming. Over the months we would spend more and more time chatting with all of them and spending time together after the birth!


We felt we were part of the family!

 

I would always remember the drive to her house many months after first e-meeting our surrogate. It was on a lovely Canadian Autumn Day; the streets were painted with orange and yellow from the leaves. It was 14 months after we had first met virtually and we were about to welcome a little girl.


Despite the 1,000 messages and hours we had spent virtually together, we felt anxious. It felt to me a little bit like going on a blind date. Except it wasn’t! Within minutes of arriving there, it felt as if we had never left despite having never been physically there. This friendship and relaxed relationship remain to this day and we very much look forward to keeping her and her family in our life for many years to come!


Our surrogacy journey in unusual times was a testament to the power of hope, love, and determination. Despite the uncertainties and obstacles we faced, we are forever grateful for the opportunity to become parents and for the unwavering support of our surrogate and her family. As we look back on this extraordinary experience, we are filled with hope and excitement for the bright future that awaits our family. Our surrogacy adventure may have been unconventional, but it filled our hearts with immeasurable joy.

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