'I am genuinely giving,' says Saskatoon woman who became surrogate twice

A Saskatoon woman says being a surrogate was such a positive experience, she did it twice.

Julian Slater encourages other women to consider surrogacy

Julian Slater stands pregnant with her first surrogate child. (Submitted by Julian Slater)

One Saskatoon woman says being a surrogate was such a positive experience, she did it twice.

"I am genuinely giving by nature," said Julian Slater.

CBC News has been taking a look at the high demand for Canadian surrogates after an Ottawa surrogate delivered her fifth baby to foreign parents last week. 

One of the Canadian agencies that connects international families with surrogate mothers had to cut off its waiting list at 500.

For Slater, the reality of becoming a surrogate evolved slowly over time. It began as she watched a family member struggle to become pregnant. Slater introduced the idea, but in the end, her help wasn't needed.   

"But the idea never really left," said Slater.

Path to becoming a surrogate a long one 

Slater is a registered nurse, and it was a chance conversation in the workplace that led her down the path of actually becoming a surrogate. First, she said, her husband had to be convinced. 

"Would you consider this? Because this is something that I'm beginning to have a pull for, I can't seem to let this idea go."

The path led Slater to an agency called Canadian Surrogacy Options. She gave birth to a girl, and then to twin girls, for the same Ontario couple.

"They were very involved, they were checking in with me on a daily basis making sure everything was OK, they were there during the implantation procedure, they were there anytime I was down in Toronto doing stuff with that and they were out physically visiting me once a month."

Saying goodbye 

Slater recalled that her own children were able to accept the idea that the babies are not their sisters, and that they would go home with the Ontario couple. And, she said, it was also easy for her to see the girls go after she gave birth.

"It was more like look at this amazing gift you gave them, it wasn't so much of a loss because the head space I had from the beginning is OK you are the oven, you are not the mother and I was quite physically detached for the entire pregnancy."

Slater said that if women are thinking about becoming a surrogate she would encourage them to do so, and that she would be pleased to share her own experiences to anyone who has questions.

"I'm done, my uterus is retired," Slater said about her contribution as a surrogate.