Children are amazing, and the sound of laughter in the backyard fills many parents with joy. However, that joy is not shared by people who have been trying to have kids but are unable to do so. Infertility cases are on the rise and even with the help of reproduction, some couples are still unable to be parents without the aid of a surrogate mother. One in six people struggle with infertility.
Surrogates can offer the gift of life to Intended Parents who in ordinary conditions could never hope to have biological children of their own.
Surrogacy: What Is It?
Surrogacy is the process where a woman offers to carry a pregnancy for the Intended Parents with the intention of giving the child to the Intended Parents once the baby is born. There are two types of surrogacy.
1. Traditional Surrogacy:
Traditional surrogacy is where the Surrogate Mother is related to the baby that she is carrying on behalf of the Intended Parents. The Surrogate Mother utilizes an insemination kit to get pregnant using the Intended Father’s semen. The baby is consequently conceived with the surrogate’s egg. The Intended Parents and Traditional Surrogate Mother can also opt to use IUI or IVF. In the case of going through with home insemination or IUI, it may seem very attractive to many people because the cost of IVF is eliminated, and the medical expenses involved may be lower. However, there are many risks and few fertility clinics and/or lawyers want to be involved. Traditional surrogacy is legal in Canada although it is often be done outside a clinic setting.
2. Gestational Surrogacy:
Gestational surrogacy is where the Surrogate Mother is not related to the child that she is carrying on behalf of the Intended Parents. Here the ova used, are those of Egg Donors or the Intended Mother. In gestational surrogacy, an embryo from the Intended Parents is implanted into the surrogate mother’s womb through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The process if carried out in a fertility clinic.
There are three stages in surrogacy.
- Egg donation: The Egg Donor go through unique processes to have their eggs harvested.
- Fertilization: The ovum is then fertilized with sperm in the laboratory.
- Transfer: The fertilized egg is then transferred into the womb of the surrogate.
The already fertilized egg can be transferred to the surrogate while “fresh” or after being defrosted from being stored.
Do Surrogate Mothers In Canada get paid?
“Commercial surrogacy” whereby Surrogate Mothers often receive money for carrying a baby for someone is illegal. Intended Parents are not allowed by law to state that they are willing to pay for the services of a surrogate.
“Altruistic surrogacy” is, however, legal. In this scenario, the Intended Parents reimburse a surrogate due to expenses that she may incur during the pregnancy. Surrogates are usually reimbursed for expenses that they pay out their pockets such as maternity clothes, medication and even loss of earnings should she get sick, be on bed rest, and unable to work.
What are the clinic fees associated with gestational surrogacy?
Intended Parents who are looking for gestational pregnancy through a fertility clinic can expect clinic fees to be between $15,000 to $25,000+. This large range is dependent on the number of treatments required, whether they want to perform genetic testing on their embryos, and clinic fees do vary. Intended Parents will also need to also consider medication costs for the Egg Donor and/or Surrogate Mother.
Once you choose the route of surrogacy to have a child, lawyers are needed to ensure all parties are informed and are in agreement of how to move forward. A surrogacy agreement between the Intended Parents and the Surrogate is then drawn up which sets out the legal duties and privileges of both parties to the contract.
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