Last year alone, CReATe Fertility Canada managed embryo creation and/or embryo transfers for over 400 surrogacy cases. Hopeful singles and couples from Australia (110 cases last year) and France make up two of their most popular ‘source countries.
CReATe Fertility Canada is based in Toronto. This world-famous clinic was founded in 1991, under the leadership of Dr Clifford Librach. What sets them apart is their expertise in Donor IVF and surrogacy cases, particularly for foreigners. With over 26 staff, CReATe have the largest donor and surrogacy program in Canada.
Samantha Esteves is a nurse in the Ovum Donor & Surrogacy Program at CReATe. Her clinical role involves overseeing the care of egg donors, surrogates, and Intended Parents from the start of their journey all the way to ‘graduation’.
GF: How do the IVF costs work for those undertaking donor egg and surrogacy at CReATe?
Samantha: IVF costs in Canada for those requiring both donor eggs and surrogacy are typically packaged up to include all medical and testing aspects, from sperm assessment, donor screening and medications, egg retrieval, embryo testing & freezing. They also include surrogate screening and embryo transfers. Some IVF clinics will offer ‘packages’ from CA$36,680 to include up to two embryo transfers. Yet more popular are ‘Guarantee’ programs, which include unlimited embryo transfers to achieve a successful pregnancy and ‘live birth’. CReATe offers such programs for CA$48,500.
GF: How does CReATe work with surrogates?
Samantha: Surrogates time is valuable and we recognise this. They need to see their doctor at the beginning of your cycle, then meet with a nurse who sets up medications, instructions, fees and consents.
GF: Samantha, I know you sit on the Patient Care Committee aiming to improve the patient experience. What has your clinic done to make the process easier for surrogates?
Samantha: For subsequent visits surrogates don’t need to wait around to see the doctor or nurse. After having their bloods taken or ultrasound done, they can get back to their busy lives. The CReATe doctor reviews the results and a nurse calls with medication dosing and instructions.
Growing Families also talked to a recent parent who engaged with CReATe Fertility. Their journey took approximately two years between attending the Growing Families conference to the birth of their son.
Kiril Sibert and his partner invested in CReATe’s guarantee IVF package. It gave them reassurance that if there was no live birth, CReATe would reimburse them their investment, less the administration fee.
Once matched with a Canadian donor through Canadian agency Egg Helpers, they managed to make six good quality embryos. Canadian Fertility Consulting matched them with a surrogate.
The most nerve-wracking parts were their fears about whether the embryo transfer would be successful. Waiting for the test results after embryo transfer was agonising. Like many others before them, it took three separate embryo transfers to result in a viable pregnancy.
As their baby grew, their surrogate came in regularly for ultrasound scans. Yet given the time difference, it was difficult to stream these live, so instead CReATe would email the recordings.
Kiril’s son was born in March 2020 and with the help of Canadian lawyer Alex McNab, they were able to depart Canada on the last flight before borders shut. For this couple, the Canadian model has allowed them to have an ongoing relationship with both their donor and surrogate -important elements in their son’s story.