Our Team.

 

JENNIFER: CEO AND Director

Photograph by Maggie   Keefe

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

I am mother of 2 beautiful children, a wife and the CEO of JA Surrogacy Consulting Ltd.

I never truly knew I wanted to be a mother until I met my husband Phil, whose love and support confirmed in me that desire. In being a mother, I got to experience the depth of joy, love, and fulfillment that comes with raising my own babies, who are now children blossoming at school and into their own little lives. We were fortunate that when we wanted to have children, we conceived with ease, and we did not face the struggles many couples do. It was not until after I completed my family that I truly even saw the difficulties other couples faced in having their own children.

In seeing these hardships, I knew that I had the ability to help them achieve the life changing experience of raising their own baby. I began my first surrogacy with a heart full of love, but unfortunately not all the knowledge I needed. I went through some steep learning curves and had to navigate many of the hurdles in the process without clear support and guidance.  The saving grace was that my heart, and the intended parents’ hearts, were always focused in the right place. We made the journey together and today they have a beautiful baby girl growing in their family.

The passion to continue helping others reach their dreams remained and I begin another surrogacy with a new wonderful couple. Having been through the experience once already, I knew I could make the journey better for all of us; I knew what worked and what didn’t. I started guiding my new IP’s along the process and ensuring we didn’t get lost in the proceedings of the larger clinics. I then completed a 2nd journey for the same couple. It was just over two years from the time of first meeting them to their family being complete with two children. I credit this to my drive and ability to manage the process.

By the time you as Intended Parents are looking into surrogacy, you have waited and struggled long enough. You do not need to be held back from your dreams of raising a child by unclear processes, bureaucracy, unnecessary delays, and overcrowded clinics that don’t see you, as Intended Parents, on a very unique journey.

I continue to invoke that belief and passion; my average time to get my surrogates and their Intended parents to transfer is 4 months. My goal is to make the journey as stress free and comfortable as possible, for the surrogate and intended parents, while providing the support I wish I would have had during my own journeys.

I am proud of the village we have created at JA Surrogacy and am truly honoured to lead this community.

 
 
 

NICI: Chief Community Officer

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

My name is Nici. I am a mother of two awesome kids, a wife, and the Chief Community Officer at JA Surrogacy Consulting. Before joining the team, I was a behavioural therapist, supporting children and families with Autism.

In 2013, I decided to pursue one of my many dreams and became a birth worker. Luckily, through this work, I became immersed in the world of surrogacy by supporting intended parents and surrogates at births and in the postpartum period. I later became the director of a program called Sacred Surrogacy, supporting intended parents and surrogates with their social and emotional needs through their surrogacy journeys.

While all these experiences have shown me the magic of surrogacy, I didn’t truly know its impact until after my surrogate baby was born in May 2017. Witnessing the moment my intended parents became fathers was one of the highlights of my life.

I’m so thrilled to be back in this community as the CCO, collaborating with Jennifer and everyone else at JA Surrogacy to help bring dreams to life. I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity and all the future families I will help build.

 
 
 

Darryl: Chief Operating Officer

Photograph by  Barbara Murtagh

Photograph by Barbara Murtagh

My name is Darryl and I am the Chief Operating Officer for JA Surrogacy Consulting.

Professionally, I have worked in a variety of settings such as financial services, the professional sports industry, and in the not-for-profit sector in a leadership capacity. Most recently, I found my passion in business development and the role businesses can play in bettering the community. My academic background includes a Bachelors of Management from the University of Lethbridge and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calgary, specializing in Finance.

While I do not have children of my own, I have always been a family first person. I am excited at the opportunity to help grow and develop JA Surrogacy Consulting into an industry leader that maintains the family first vision with integrity. As I learn more about surrogacy, my admiration for dedicated surrogates increases and I love to hear about each family’s dreams coming true.

My role with JA is to help build a business structure that is efficient, sustainable and able to make more dreams become reality. I am thrilled to be part of a team that helps to build families and values a strong village support system amongst its clients.

 
 
 

JESSICA: SURROGACY SUPPORT AND INTAKE WORKER

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Hi my name is Jessica, I am a Surrogacy Support and Intake Worker for JA Surrogacy Consulting and a mom of 3 incredible boys.

Before joining the JA Surrogacy team, I worked as a birth doula and experienced many years of working closely with special needs children and foster children. My heart is in supporting families and after watching a close friend of mine on her own surrogacy journey, I knew I wanted to step into this process as well.

I am currently matched with an incredible couple and we are in the midst of our own surrogacy. My heart is full, and I have an even deeper perspective of the need to join a village that values family, in whatever form it comes. Joining the JA team has opened up new opportunities to support and advocate for deserving couples and their courageous surrogates.  It has truly been an honor to walk alongside these men and woman as they navigate what will likely be, one of the most amazing journeys of their lives.

In my role at JA Surrogacy, I strive to create an atmosphere of openness and safety for both surrogates and intended parents during their journeys. Whether it is one-on-one support, or planning group events, I am readily available to meet client needs.  I am blessed to work alongside a passionate and dynamic team that shares the same vision, and heart for all of their clients. Because if this we see dreams come true every day and I look forward to seeing even more come true in the future.

 
 
 

Celeste: Surrogate and Intended Parent Advocate

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Hi my name is Celeste, I'm a wife and a mother of two wonderful girls. Infertility has always been something I've been very attuned too after seeing the struggles my own parents went through to have children. I was adopted by my parents, but as fertility treatments advanced, they were blessed enough to have their own biological child, my brother, many years after my adoption.

I first considered surrogacy after my cousin became concerned that she may have trouble creating her own family. Once she had successfully had her own two children, the feeling I had of wanting to help someone create their family still remained. I have since completed four surrogacy journeys and have helped three couples build their families. Surrogacy has added so many positive things to mine and my family's lives. I could not feel more blessed than to have had one of the couples we carried for truly become family to us. It has been such a reward to see the couples I have carried for fall in love at first sight with their new babies and flourish as new parents.

I have worked both independently and with an agency during my surrogacy journeys, and have experienced the many ups and downs that come along with this process. As a result of my experience, I identified a need that hadn't been met within the surrogacy community. I soon became the administrator of a large independent surrogacy group which offers support and advice to those looking to pursue a journey without help from an agency.

Surrogacy can be an overwhelming and daunting process. Having the full support of an agency to help guide you from beginning to end can be an asset for many who are navigating their way through this complex journey. I am happy to be working with JA Surrogacy Consulting in the dynamic role of, Surrogate and Intended Parent Advocate. In this role, I will be actively listening to the concerns of surrogates and IPs, at any stage of their journey’s, and will be there to advocate, to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are met.

 
 
 

Michelle: Legal Liaison and Intended Parent Support

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Hi, I’m Michelle. I am a married mother of 6 and a Canadian gestational surrogate. I have carried five baby boys as a surrogate and completed my final journey in July 2019. Being a surrogate has been an amazing experience in my life and has enriched the lives of my entire family.

I first became involved with the world of third-party reproduction and surrogacy around 2008. Since then, I have learned quite a bit about the process and have been able to mentor many other surrogates along their journeys. I have also had the opportunity to support many women as a Doula in the areas of labour and birth, postpartum and fertility since 2013.

Some of my additional experience in the surrogacy community includes: lobbying to approximately 30 MPs in Ottawa as to why the current AHRA legislation needs updating, taking part in Health Canada’s round table discussions, having input into the proposed AHRA changes, and speaking about surrogacy to different groups all over the world.

I obtained my Business Administration in 1995 and Paralegal Diploma in 2001. I have been in the career of Office and Department Management since 2003. I am thankful that my path has brought me to this opportunity; to be part of the Canadian surrogate community and the JA Surrogacy village. 

 
 
 

Linsay: Surrogacy Support and Accounts Manager

Photograph by  Cas Evans Photography

Photograph by Cas Evans Photography

Hi there, I’m Linsay. I’m a mom of two beautiful preteen girls and a Surrogacy Support and Accounts Manager here at JA Surrogacy Consulting. 

I’ve known I was meant to be a surrogate ever since I first learned what it was. As an adoptee myself, I always felt called to give back and help someone who was struggling with infertility. In 2014, after having connected with an agency via social media, I went through my first surrogacy journey with a couple who’d struggled for several years. Witnessing the changes in my intended mother and father after the arrival of their son was a privilege and felt nothing short of miraculous.

 After going through this journey and witnessing those of my fellow surrogates, I felt drawn towards working with the LGBTQ community. My second and third journeys were with the same couple, who are now busy dads to a son and a daughter. I’m also proud to be part of my local Pride committee, helping organize Pride events every year in my hometown. 

 Historically, couples often struggled in silence trying to have a family. I’m both honoured and humbled to be in a position to break that silence and help, not only as a surrogate and a passionate advocate for alternative family building and LGBT rights, but now also in my role as Surrogacy Support and Accounts Manager. I’m excited to be able to work directly with surrogates and intended parents as their journeys progress. Having had both agency and independent journeys myself, I recognized a dire need for change within the industry. I fully believe in the integrity of the program here at JA Surrogacy Consulting, and I am so proud to join this incredible village!

 
 
 

DARCY: SURROGACY SUPPORT

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Hello, I’m Darcy. I am a mama of two beautiful young ladies whom I adore; I love God, my family and friends, and having a career I enjoy.

I’ve known for many years that creating a family does not come easily for everyone. Infertility does not discriminate and it is heartbreaking for those who experience it. Because of this awareness, I always knew that one day I wanted to help create families through surrogacy.

In my early 30’s, I was blessed with my first daughter, Meadow, and 18 months later with another, Willow. Shortly after, I began my first surrogacy journey. I was matched with a lovely couple who had struggled with infertility issues for years. My daughters, although quite young when it started, have always been a huge part of the journey; our families have become intertwined forever.

After completing my first surrogacy, I was unsure if I wanted to do another, but I knew I wanted to keep helping families. I became a doula and have truly loved this experience. However, in time, I felt I had one more journey in me. I met another incredible couple and our surrogacy journey has been filled with as much love as the last one. It is amazing the connection you create in this process.

My path has now brought me to JA and I am so excited to be part of the village created here.

 
 
 

Carly: Accountant

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Photograph by Maggie Keefe

Hi, I’m Carly. I am the accountant here at JA Surrogacy Consulting. I am a wife and step mother to three beautiful children.

I came on board with JA in April of 2018 – soon after Jennifer had decided to broaden her clientele to help even more people become parents. Having struggled to get pregnant myself, I understood the desire to have a baby and when I was given the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing village, I didn’t hesitate.  

I’ve worked in the field of Accounting and Bookkeeping for over 18 years, in many different industries, but this has by far been the most rewarding position I have yet encountered. Before coming on with JA, I knew very little about the world of surrogacy and I have learned so much over the past year.  I understand, now more than ever, that blood doesn’t always make a family. I am grateful to be a part of the JA Village.

 
 
 

Barbara: Director of Social Media Marketing and Graphic Design

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Hello! I’m Barbara, the Director of Social Media Marketing and Graphic Design at JA Surrogacy. I am the mother of a beautiful daughter and am currently pregnant with my second.

When I first began at JA, I didn’t know a lot about surrogacy. I’ve learned a great deal during my time here so far and have seen firsthand how great of an impact this agency has had on people’s lives. I’ve known Jen for many years now and witnessed her experience each of her surrogacy journeys. Through this I have watched her change the lives of many. She found great passion in these experiences and continues to pass it on to each new surrogate who comes to JA. I love working at a place that is dedicated to helping others and that encourages love and support amongst its community members.