It’s one thing to be impressed with how an egg donor and surrogacy program operates. It’s quite another to be so impressed that you become a surrogate yourself.
But that’s what happened to Janice Chavez, a financial and surrogate coordinator—and surrogate—with The Egg Donor & Surrogacy Program.
“I’ve been a part of the agency for over five years now,” said Janice. “Originally, I was the financial coordinator for all our surrogacy cases. Now I also coordinate the surrogacy selection as soon as intended parents sign up.
“I’ve been so impressed with what we do that I wanted to be a part of it from both sides.”
Practicing what she preaches
“One of the women I work with has been a surrogate a number of times. And I had been thinking about becoming one. What I’ve found is that a lot of women who pursue surrogacy just love being pregnant.
“I had that similar experience with my own son. To enjoy the wonders of childbirth and be able to bring a newborn into a loving family is truly a blessing.”
The Egg Donation & Surrogacy program was one of the first surrogacy agencies in America. With a screening process that’s one of, if not the most thorough in the country, the agency’s surrogates are among the top five percent in the nation. In its 30 years of operation, the program has been a part of bringing 3,300 healthy, happy babies into new families all over the world.
Janice’s surrogate journey
“We worked with the Pacific Fertility Clinic of Los Angeles (PFCLA). I was matched with a really lovely same-sex gay couple. Everything went so smoothly. I call them the Fertility Express because they’re so good. They’re on top of the ball there. The cycle coordinators, medication protocols, the doctors.
“Dr. Sahakian thoroughly explained the process and even what might be difficult with surrogacy. For instance, some medications have side effects. Not only was my doctor always on call for me, but Erica, my cycle coordinator, was as well.
“My intended parents lived in New York but were always in California for appointments. Knowing that I was a coordinator and very familiar with the process, they came to me for everything and I felt very comfortable answering their questions.
“Now it’s the same thing with surrogates. Having gone through the experience myself, I’m so much better prepared to talk to surrogate candidates and intended parents about what to expect during the process. Not just from the paperwork and timing process, but from the relationship and pregnancy process. I can answer all their questions and discuss things they may have not even thought about.
“I feel that I know the journey—emotionally and practically—from both sides. I help bring intended parents and surrogates together. And as a surrogate myself, I have personally brought a newborn into the life of a couple who could not conceive.
“Being able to draw on both experiences has really been a huge gift to me.”