We know you have many questions about becoming a Surrogate Mother and want to make sure you understand what surrogacy is all about.
Below are the most common questions we receive from potential Gestational Surrogates across Canada. Every Surrogate Mother is different and you likely have questions that are not covered by our Surrogacy FAQ. We encourage you to fill out a Surrogacy Interest Form and ask us your questions so that we can help you establish whether or not surrogacy is right for you. We are your guide to Surrogacy in Canada.
Common Questions About Surrogacy
Join Heather and Nathan as they discuss the most common misconceptions and questions about surrogacy in Canada.
Heather is a proud Surrogate Mother and Nathan is the Managing Director of Proud Fertility and a proud Intended Parent. Both Heather and Nathan believed many of these common myths themselves before they began pursuing surrogacy.
Become a Surrogate: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be a surrogate if I am single?
You can be a Gestational Surrogate regardless of your relationship status. Whether you are married, in a common law relationship, single or dating you can choose to give the gift of life to deserving Intended Parents.
Why do I have to have my own child before I can be a gestational carrier?
Most Reproductive Endocrinologists will not work with a surrogate who has never given birth before. It is preferred that a potential surrogate has previously experienced a pregnancy and given birth.
What is the age requirement for being a Surrogate Mother?
Ideal surrogates are between the ages of 21 and 49.
My tubes are tied, can I be a surrogate?
Yes, you can still be a Gestational Surrogate if you have had a tubal ligation.
How much money does it cost to be a Gestational Surrogate?
It does not cost you money to be a surrogate. Although surrogacy in Canada is altruistic and you cannot be paid for surrogacy, reimbursements for reasonable journey-related expenses are allowed.
Why does anyone want to be a Surrogate Mother?
Because surrogacy in Canada is altruistic (meaning a Gestational Surrogate can not be paid), people choose to become a surrogate in Canada to give to others. Whether their inspired by their own difficult fertility journey, have witnessed others struggle with infertility, or just love being pregnancy, Gestational Surrogates are generous and loving people.
What kinds of screening tests are required of a Surrogate Mother?
Every fertility clinic has their own set of protocols for screening. Tests may include:
- Blood tests for various diseases
- Vaginal ultrasounds
- Gynecological exam
What kind of medications do Surrogate Mothers take? Are there injections required?
You will require medications to prepare your body for the embryo transfer and surrogate pregnancy. Again, each clinic has its own preferred protocols and will give you detailed and thorough instructions and information about any medications you are required to take.
Your doctor’s recommendations may include:
- Oral medications
- Vaginal suppositories
- Intramuscular injections
What is the purpose of psycho-social assessments?
Psychosocial assessments are an important part of the screening process for both Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates.
Can I choose the Intended Parents that I will work with?
Of course! You will decide who you work with based on your preferences and common beliefs.
What kind of Intended Parents can I help grow a family?
Proud Fertility is an inclusive agency and welcomes Intended Parents of all ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders and lifestyles. We work with single Intended Parents, gay couples and infertile straight couples, cancer survivors, and others who cannot conceive a child without the help of surrogacy and/or egg donation.
Will I have a relationship with my Intended Parents?
You and your Intended Parents are encouraged to build a strong relationship. We can help to facilitate communication throughout your surrogacy journey.
Do I use my own eggs as a Surrogate?
We only support gestational surrogacy at Proud Fertility meaning you will not use your own eggs. You can learn more about the differences between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy on our blog.
What’s the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy?
In traditional surrogacy, the Surrogate Mother is inseminated with sperm from the Intended Father or a Sperm Donor. The child is genetically related to the Surrogate Mother.
Proud Fertility offers consultancy services for egg donation and gestational surrogacy (using either the Intended Mother’s eggs or donor eggs) only.
What are some of the responsibilities of a Surrogate Mother?
As a Gestational Surrogate, you will be required to:
- Complete all necessary paperwork in full
- Abide by the terms of your contract
- Arrive at all your appointments as scheduled
- Take all medications and injections according to the calendar and follow your physician’s orders
- Inform Proud Fertility of all appointments and issues that may arise on a regular basis
- Keep a monthly expense report and corresponding receipts so you may be reimbursed
Every surrogacy journey is different and you may have other responsibilities that will be clearly communicated to you.
Do I have to travel to be a Surrogate Mother?
Depending on where you live and the fertility clinic that you and your Intended Parents work with, you may be required to travel. We have a blog about that, too!
What’s an embryo and embryo transfer?
An embryo is a fertilized egg in the earliest stages of development. In surrogacy, we talk about 3 day, 5 day, and genetically tested embryos. An embryo transfer is when the embryo is placed into the Gestational Surrogates uterus to create a pregnancy.
Can I bring a companion to the embryo transfer?
If you would like to share your experience with your spouse, a friend, a family member, or another supportive person you are welcome to.
What does the overall embryo transfer procedure look like for Surrogate Mothers?
You can expect a quick and relatively painless procedure where your IVF doctor inters the embryo(s) into your uterus with a small catheter. Your doctor may use a mild sedative or anesthesia to make the process more comfortable. An ultrasound may be used to ensure the embryos are safely inserted. You will remain in the recover room for up to an hour following the embryo transfer.
Depending on your doctor’s protocols you will require bedrest for up to 5 days following the transfer. If you are not local to the clinic you will rest at your hotel after the embryo transfer takes place.
Can I choose the number of embryos to be transferred?
In most cases, you and your Intended Parents may choose the number of embryos that will be transferred. We strongly suggest single embryo transfers. Multiple embryo transfers often result in high-risk pregnancies putting you and the babies in danger.
Can I have sex during my pregnancy?
Safe sex during pregnancy is healthy. Learn more about sex during surrogacy on our blog.
Am I provided a doula for my surrogate pregnancy and birth?
All Proud Fertility Gestational Surrogates are provided a professional doula as part of their pregnancy care. It is important to us that you are completely supported throughout your journey and that you have the birth experience you are hoping for. Additionally, studies have shown that the presence of a doula improves overall satisfaction with one’s birth experience, reduces the need for unwanted medical interventions and lowers the cesarean rate in populations.
We have relationships with the top doulas across Canada and can provide a referral if you choose. Check out our Doula Directory!
Will I keep in contact with the baby and Intended Parents after the baby is born?
The amount of contact you will have with the baby and Intended Parents following the birth will depend on what is agreed upon in your contract. It’s best to choose Intended Parents who would like the same amount of post-surrogacy contact as you would.
Becoming a Surrogate is a big step and we want you to feel safe, comfortable, and informed, throughout the process. Please fill out our Surrogacy Interest Form for personalized answers to your questions about becoming a Gestational Surrogate.