Surrogacy in Canada
Surrogacy is the process whereby a woman carries a child for intended parents, with the intention of giving the child to the intended parents upon the child's birth. The relevant legislation and legal issues arising out of surrogacy agreements are complicated and the penalties for failing to abide by the laws regarding assisted human reproduction in Canada can be very severe so take care! As soon as you are seriously considering involving a third party in building your family, consult with a qualified fertility lawyer.
Surrogacy Law in Canada
Contrary to popular belief, surrogacy is legal in Canada. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the provision or acceptance of consideration to a woman for acting as a surrogate; it is illegal to pay a surrogate mother for her services. However, it is legal to reimburse a surrogate mother for her reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the surrogacy.
Cost of Surrogacy in Canada
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy where the surrogate mother is genetically related to the child she is carrying on behalf of the intended parent, and gestational surrogacy where the gestational carrier has no genetic connection to the child she is carrying (i.e. either the intended mother's ova are used, or those of an egg donor). Traditional surrogacy may seem like an attractive option because without the cost of IVF, the medical process may be less expensive. However, from a legal perspective, traditional surrogacy is fraught with danger and few fertility clinics will engage in the practice. That being said, traditional surrogacy is legal.
Surrogacy Lawyer Canada
A surrogacy lawyer can assist you in navigating the murky Canadian fertility laws. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act governs surrogacy, but also governs how intended parents and surrogate mothers find each other so it is worth contacting a fertility lawyer early on in the process. Once the intended parents and the surrogate mother have decided that they would like to work together in building the intended parents' family, a surrogacy agreement must be drafted and negotiated, setting out the legal obligations and rights of each party to the agreement. Once a baby is born via surrogacy, further legal steps need to be taken in order for the intended parents, and not the surrogate or her husband or partner, if any, to be declared the legal parents of the child. For more information on that process, pleas see the Legal Parentage page.