Angela Peeters is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Exeter, Ontario. She is the CEO of Canadian Surrogacy Community, a consulting service that helps people who are struggling with infertility to have a voice in their plan to have a family, including members of the LGBTQ community. Through referrals, egg and sperm donation, surrogacy, and support services that are offered every step of the way, CSC guides clients for the entire duration of their journey because they believe in a process that is unique to what has been offered in the past. The team at CSC passionately believes in the necessity of providing support and guidance in a confidential and safe environment, to the Intended Parent, and the surrogate and egg donor. It starts right from the beginning with a Skype or Facetime consultation so that together, each unique situation can be assessed and it can be determined how to best help those in need. We are thrilled to share Angela’s Success Story!
About Canadian Surrogacy Community
We work differently than other agencies in Canada, in that we do not initially charge fees for consulting we haven’t yet undertaken. We charge one introductory flat fee for the specific service of support, referrals, profile-building, screening and consulting, to help get you started on your journey. Navigating the waters of infertility can be an intimidating process for many. We want to help alleviate those worries and answer any questions or concerns you may have towards surrogacy in general, but also discuss your own personal situation. Then we can assist in finding and mediating with the proper professionals who can benefit you the most.
Canadian law forbids us from ‘matching’ surrogates with Intended Parents. We can, however, provide a safe framework whereby we vigorously screen both surrogates and Intended Parents with the intention of building a profile which empowers you to find your surrogate or egg donor, armed with all the information and support that you need. Finding your own surrogate through our agency is a free service. After you’ve found your surrogate and she has been screened by a counsellor and clinic doctor, a second flat fee is due to hire CSC as a support service for you and your surrogate throughout the duration of your journey. This includes everything you can imagine; our team will be mediating between lawyers/doctors/nurses before, during, and after transfer, in addition to monitoring medication cycles to ensure a surrogate is comfortable. CSC will be present for several clinical appointments within Ontario clinics that the surrogate requests support, and will be present during and after the births for all babies in all provinces.
Our infertility program helps during one of the most emotionally-charged times of life, as we guide couples through the uncertainties of IVF and patient management. You’ll receive a unique level of compassion and experience during the stressors and emotional stages of pregnancy. There is never any pressure to move quickly through any stage. You determine how the journey unfolds.
About Angela Peeters, Founder of CSC
Angela is a two-time surrogate, and a Mom of four children. She’s embarking on her third journey as a surrogate and spends her days taking care of women who are kind enough to help others. It’s a circle of giving back, because the world is about making a difference in others’ lives. Angela always believed in the premise of being on this earth to serve others. After becoming a Mother, she quickly realized she was meant to carry babies well. She enjoyed being pregnant and after three years and four children later, she was sad to quit growing life.
After watching someone close to her struggle with infertility, she immersed herself into the world of surrogacy and decided in 2012 to be a gestational carrier for a gay couple in London, Ontario. She carried two children for them two years apart and a deep friendship grew and has continued through today. After her last pregnancy she was well-versed in the surrogacy world and took a run at the business side of surrogacy by working for another agency. She thrived on the relationships she built with other women who came to her for help. But she saw the gaping holes in the service and support all agencies provided at the time. After her divorce in 2015, she re-evaluated her life and her passion for empowering women. Surrogacy is where Angela was meant to be. As a single Mom, she took her entire savings and followed her heart. She began Canadian Surrogacy Community in 2016 and it has flourished since. She wants to help other women who search for guidance through a complicated and sometimes scary process. And she wants to help empower women to find an inner peace with helping others create their families. She believes this is one of the most fulfilling, selfless acts of love one can do for someone else and she strives to create an environment for you to have the best surrogacy experience possible. Her goal is to always be evolving and making her company better for those she helps.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
Canadian Surrogacy Community was founded on a belief that all individuals deserve a level of support that surpasses others. The struggles and grief that accompany infertility make every journey matter on an intimate level. We want to show you the benefit of finding a team of women who truly care about what you need as you move forward into surrogacy.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I always felt as a young woman that I was a square peg trying to squeeze into a circular hole. I never quite fit. I was a chameleon and could adjust to all situations, but at heart I desired a quiet introspective life. I buried myself in books – was an introvert at heart, living in an extrovert world. I couldn’t ignore the need I felt to always be fixing others. I realized early on that I could connect and ‘feel’ people on a deeper level. It became obvious that I had a strong ability to read people – cues, facial expressions, emotions, and truths. I grew to be the person everyone came to for advice. I loved writing, and so I became a journalist. Then I worked in the social services field, and then began my career in education teaching English as a Second Language.
When I decided to get married and have my own family, I poured my heart and soul into being a Mom. I loved being their everything, but my deep desire to learn more about people steered me into taking psychology courses while being a stay-at-home-Mom. When my kids went off to school, I felt a sense of emptiness. I went back to the education field, but felt unfulfilled. After dipping my feet into a surrogacy business, I knew that I had an obligation and a true calling for making surrogacy and infertility more patient-driven, with personal supports and true connections with people. It wasn’t until after I began my programs that I realized the perfect decision I had made. I had found my tribe; a community of women who all loved and supported each other through one of the most amazing and tough experiences of life. They choose to help others create life and I choose to help them do it.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
In truth, I was naive about being a business owner. I had zero business experience or education; but I knew people. I understood what motivated them and how to read between the lines. I could learn the business aspects, but I wanted to be a Girl Boss and shine my light on the world. I wanted to be a great example for my children, so the best part of owning my business is teaching them about the kindness of others. They have learned that after having me home and all to themselves, they now have to share me with other people who also need me. Sometimes that’s at inconvenient times, and they miss out on moments with me, but they have learned patience and empathy because of it. They also know that my schedule can be flexible at times and I can be an active part of their world more often than the 9-5 parent who can’t get away for the track and field meet or the school talent show. I can leave the office in an emergency, and I can take my children to dentist appointments. But the power of example is truly why I do what I do. Teaching them about giving back to someone without expecting anything in return – that’s a lesson that rings loud and clear every day we wake up.
What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
Having my own children has led me to a place of understanding the world differently – unconditional love will do that to a person. They have taught me probably more than I have taught them about kindness and love. Growing life inside of me was an indescribable joy, but raising my kids and watching them grow into tiny human beings was the real force in driving me to start my business. The thought of anyone not being able to experience that joy is truly heartbreaking to me, especially by no choice of their own or uncontrollable outside factors. I swore after having my own kids that I would help others. During my first surrogacy experience, I met so many amazing women who inspired me to continue helping others. Many of these women I still call friends, and they support me in all that I do today. There are many stories of women through my agency who persevered through miscarriages, failed transfers, and worrisome Intended Parents, all of whom came out at the end with a healthy, beautiful baby. Those are the stories of the women who I admire and who give me the strength to keep going no matter how hard it gets. Without those women, I would not be here to continue helping others.
What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
I believe in advocating for your rights as a patient first and foremost. No doctor should ever create a plan for your health and family-building that does not include you being an instrumental piece of the puzzle. So many couples suffer through unimaginable heartache trying to grow their family. Something that is so easy for one couple, can carry an immense weight for another. I was taught that if someone needs you, it is a kindness to help, expecting nothing in return. What we get is the lasting understanding of the ripple effect our choice creates. Honour, ethics, and respect drives every decision I make in my personal life and my business life. Sometimes that means making tough decisions in order to stand for what you believe in. I believe in a higher purpose. I believe in putting our intentions to the universe and letting them come back to us. I live by this notion every day to try and grow my business and believe it will all work out the way it is meant to.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
I’m proud of building something great from the ground up. I’m proud that when I had a dream, I chased it, no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel to walk into the unknown. I wanted to be a strong, independent woman who made her own way in the world and I have become exactly that, all while creating families for people who otherwise wouldn’t know the joy of a child. I’m proud I stayed the course and did it with my values in place. I’m proud I created a brand that is only going to grow as we learn to build our network and connections with other like-minded women and Mothers.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
Sometimes taking that leap is scary. It’s like being blind and having someone lead the way for you. But I’ve come to understand that the universe provides when we ask. I know that with every challenge comes the potential for great success. I am leading the charge for my company to grow and evolve because I know that I have a responsibility to set the bar for other women in business and I have a deep desire to connect with others like myself. I know with certainty that we have a long road ahead of ups and downs, but giving up is not an option. I know business fluctuates, but we are going to stay the course. This year is about networking and connection with strong women and meeting amazing Moms who might want to help create families and be a part of our community.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Go for it! If you can dream it, you can do it. Understand the power of knowing your worth and find other empowering people to surround yourself with who can lift you up. Be ready for the down days, but don’t let them consume you. Always know that when one door closes, another one will open.