What is your role in the team?
I’m Anna, and I’m responsible for taking care of surrogates; this ranges from recruitment and initial tests of candidates right up to the post-partum follow-up to 1-1.5 months after the birth.
During the process I’m also very involved and once we have embryos good enough to be transferred – I start to look for a surrogate mother, considering both clinic and IP’s requirements for a successful candidate. I also try to match people who are likely to have something in common, which helps reduce stress from the whole program when both you and your surrogate can talk and know each other a bit better. Surrogacy is all about trust, and you can’t build trust if you have no room for communication. I also have a lot of organisational responsibilities such as:
communication with the fertility doctor and attending visits with your surrogate during endometrial preparation, control and preparing the necessary documents and medical certificates of your surrogate;
controlling all required and any additional analysis/ tests of your surrogate;
arranging pregnancy supervision (PS) and attending PS visits with your surrogate;
compensation of transport expenses, medication and vitamins. Though, the last are two usually provided by us after appointment;
relocation of the surrogate – more precisely: finding and renting a perfect cosy home for your surrogate starting from week 28 (for twins) and week 32 (singleton) of pregnancy;
arranging the maternity house and visits there starting from 33-35 weeks of pregnancy.
This is just a part of what I do, but it’s also essential to mention that I have help! – a fantastic employee, Tanya, who helps me with attending medical appointments.
Hobbies – what do you do in your free time?
I’m a huge dog lover! I have two precious dogs, and I’m obsessed with them. Therefore, I volunteer from time to time in pet shelters and make donations regularly.
Also, I’m a giant book and science articles (primarily medical) nerd and spend a lot of time investigating new things.
Previous experience – what work experience do you have? What is your background, studies?
I hold two degrees – A bachelor’s degree in Chinese and English languages and a Master’s degree in international affairs. My Alma Mater is Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University. The best two words to explain my overall experience – coordination and management, which quite frequently go together with helping others. My first job found me soon after my 18th birthday when my mom asked me to help her with a charity foundation where she has worked for 20 years. Since then, I’ve not stopped and I soon became a junior program coordinator, working part-time in my first year of university. Four and a half years after, on my first year of achieving a Master degree, I decided that it was time to explore something new and found myself a job directly linked to my Bachelor degree – I became a financial manager of all Chinese accounts in international retails and dropshipping company. At the same time, I was studying Digital Marketing, and after I started my path in marketing. Two and a half years after, I began to work in one of the ART clinics in Ukraine, where I met my partners, and it would seem I’ve found my dream job. Two years have passed since then and together we’re helping people all around the world to become a family.
Experience in this particular field?
As mentioned above – I have worked in the ART field for the last two years. Frankly speaking, this job found me accidentally, but I fell in love with it from the first week. Over the previous two years, I matched at least 40 surrogates with their couples, and most of that matches ended with successful pregnancies and births.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s the most straightforward question ever. There are no words in this world to explain the feeling of being involved in helping to create a new life, meaning a precious new-born and a whole new and better life for parents-to-be and surrogates.
What is/are the most challenging aspects?
That you can’t have your time which will be only yours, it’s not an office job from 9 to 6; you have to be reachable all the time, no matter if it’s 3 AM or Christmas eve. And sometimes this job brings a lot of stress as each of us has a lot of responsibility, and we genuinely care about how the process will go. Unfortunately, some things can’t be controlled, and this can be both challenging and frustrating.
What do you like about Kyiv?
I was born and raised in Kyiv, the same as my parents and grandparents. All my roots belong here, and Kyiv is the city of my heart. It’s a fantastic mix of an old town and skyscrapers, noisy megapolis with over 1500 years of history. Kyiv never sleeps, but it’s also quiet and peaceful. My must-visit and favourite places:
Parks! We have many parks; my favourites are Taras Shevchenko park, Mariinsky Park, Park of Glory.
Podil – one of the oldest districts in Kyiv
Monastries: Lavra, Sofia Kyivska, Mykhailivsky cathedral.
Restaurants – I’m afraid this interview will never end if I will name all the delicious places in Kyiv:) but really, the food is fantastic here.