To better understand the various aspects of surrogacy, here’s a brief look at how it works in Canada.
From a legal perspective
In Canada, it is illegal to pay a woman for surrogacy services. Women who decide to bear a child for another couple must do so for free, without expectation for any compensation. It is also illegal for any woman under the age of 21 to offer surrogacy services.
From a technical perspective
There are two ways for a surrogate mother to bear a child for a couple. If the future mother cannot carry a baby to term (because she has had a hysterectomy, has diabetes, cancer, or other health problems) an egg (her own if possible) and the future father’s sperm can be used to create an embryo that is then implanted in the surrogate mother’s womb. Or, the surrogate mother can be artificially inseminated, and the child with have the genes of the surrogate mother and the sperm donor.
The motivations of surrogate mothers
While some people may doubt the motivations of surrogate mothers, it would seem that many of the women who provide surrogacy services are mothers themselves who have had easy pregnancies, enjoy being pregnant, and sincerely want to help infertile couples have a family.
The stigma surrounding surrogacy
Not everyone thinks that surrogacy is a good idea. Because women can be paid to be surrogate mothers in some countries, many people think this type of financial arrangement also occurs here in Canada and that this practice is degrading for the woman, who is essentially selling her body for profit.
Others feel that entering into a surrogacy contract is risky for the couple. What happens if the surrogate mother changes her mind while she is pregnant and refuses to turn over the child? In many cases, the law in Canada and in many other countries would be on her side.
Be that as it may, no one can argue that many infertile Canadians would not be parents today were it not for the surrogate mothers who agreed to bear them a child.