Hi! I’m Dara and I am a Reproductive Counsellor. And while I have been practicing social work in Toronto, Canada since 2000, my passion for work came out of my own personal experiences with infertility. After surviving many years of tests, surgeries, unsuccessful IUIs and IVFs, my partner and I desperately turned to gestational surrogacy. In a million years, I never could have guessed that all my heartbreak and pain would one day help inform my work as a counsellor, and provide comforting connection to my clients walking similar journeys. Today, we are the very lucky parents of two wonderful daughters (each carried by a different and incredible Gestational Surrogate), and I have the privilege of supporting people from all over the world as they do everything they can to build their families, or help others have the family of their dreams.
In my daily practice, I provide support in dealing with the profound emotions of infertility and loss (including marriage and grief counselling), and help people working with donors and/or surrogates for fertility and medical reasons, as well as sexual orientation, gender identity and/or relationship status. I offer empathetic and pragmatic decision-making guidance around next steps, and help in developing effective coping strategies, I also provide counselling and assessments required by clinics for Intended Parents, donors and surrogates.
I work with government, professional and public stakeholders to inform and advocate about issues relating to Assisted Human Reproduction and and a regularly invited speaker at community events, conferences and workshops, as well as participating in research that aims to improve care for all patients – Intended Parents, Donors and Surrogates alike. I hold a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Toronto and am a Registered Social Worker with he Ontario College of Social Workers (RSW) – which means if you have benefits, my services may be covered through your workplace insurance!
I feel deeply grateful and fortunate that my professional training, personal experience with infertility and my family’s journey through surrogacy (twice!) combine to provide a unique and empathetic perspective for my clients. I am committed to providing services that are compassionate, empathetic, inclusive and non-judgmental, as well as personalized and helpful. If you have any questions, please send me an email! I look forward to walking you through this journey and offering support in any way I can.