Surrogacy in Canada doesn’t come cheap with some couples paying as high as $100,000 CAD. About 1 in 6 couples in Canada experience infertility. This number has doubled since the 1980s (Canada.ca).
Given the rise of infertility, many couples are seeking out surrogacy as an option. With the acceptance of Surrogacy in Canada, many intending parents who are unable to conceive are finally having the family they want.
Surrogacy is a process that involves a woman carrying a child for intended parents. This is done with the sole aim of giving the child to the intended parent upon the birth of the child.
A surrogate mother as they are referred to is the carrier. Once you start considering surrogacy, consult with a qualified fertility lawyer to put you through the ropes.
Surrogacy in Canada
Infertility is gradually becoming a major issue for intending parents looking to conceive. Currently, it is estimated that “one in six couples in Canada struggles with fertility issues.” Sadly, this issue is never heard of or discussed as people presume they will be stigmatized for their inability to have children.
Before considering surrogacy, bear in mind that it is an expensive process and you must be financially prepared before embarking on the journey. Surrogacy service is available to all types of intended parents in Canada regardless of the gender, sexual orientation or relationship status.
Although Canada has a firm surrogate-led culture which is confined within a legal framework termed as “altruistic” rather than commercial, many intending couples still embark on it.
Law Binding Surrogacy in Canada
According to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of 2004, it is a criminal offence to commercialize surrogacy. Altruistic surrogacy is a legal act in Canada, which is not the case in other parts of the world.
This means that in Canada you can advertise for and employ a surrogate mother to carry your child, but you can only pay for her expenses relating to the pregnancy not a fee for the pregnancy.
Even with the law binding surrogacy in Canada, it is currently one of the few countries globally where intentionally intended parents can go into a surrogacy agreement with a surrogate and makes them their child’s legal parents from birth. There are also fertility clinics in Canada that provide aids to the medical aspect of surrogacy.
Note that is it is a criminal offence under the Canadian federal law to pay a surrogate or an egg/sperm donor any more than expenses. It is also illegal to pay to an agency to connect an intending parent to a surrogate. Hence, there are already established Canadian surrogacy consultancies than help intended parents to find a surrogate.
Surrogacy Requirement Per Province in Canada
Canadian laws are favourable to surrogacy service in most provinces aside Quebec. Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario are popular provinces surrogacy processes take place. Below are the requirements needed per provinces in Canada to get started with your surrogacy journey:
- British Columbia (BC)
In British Columbia to get a surrogacy service is hassle-free. The registration is immediate, intending parents are not required to provide a declaration of parentage to get a surrogate.
In Alberta, intending parents are required to provide a declaration of parentage as the generic connection to the child is very important.
- Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick
The basic requirement needed for surrogacy service in these provinces is more thorough than others. There are notable differences in the surrogacy process itself and the legal framework.
A parental declaration is optional in Ontario.
Quebec is off-limit for intending parents who are looking into going for surrogacy as it is not permitted, for now only adoption is legal and allowed.
Cost Evaluation of Surrogacy in Canada
It can be quite difficult to figure the exact cost of surrogacy in Canada. This is because when it comes to surrogacy there are always different circumstances attached to it. Thereby, it is left for intending parent to compensate a surrogate per the circumstance surrounding the surrogacy.
Budgeting can be a hassle while planning for a surrogate service. There are several variables involved in planning the average money it will cost intending parents to get the service of a surrogate in Canada. Among the variables that determine the average cost are:
- Location of intending parents
- Test to be carried out
- Transfer attempts
- Expenses requested by the surrogate, etc.
Generally, the average cost of surrogacy in Canada is around 60,000 – 100,000 CAD, which is lesser than surrogacy in the United State of America (USA). This is due to the aid the public Canadian healthcare system provides for pregnancy. Below are estimated bills of some of the cost to be covered:
- Surrogacy agency’s fees – $10,000 CAD
- Lawyer’s fees – 20,000 CAD
- IVF procedures – 20,000 CAD
- Surrogate reimbursement – 20,000 – 30,000 CAD
- Clinical procedures – 25,000 CAD
- Egg donation process – 5,000 – 15,000 CAD
- Miscellaneous (Hotel, travel, etc.) – 5,000 – 10,000 CAD
Traditional Surrogacy Vs Gestational Surrogacy in Canada
There are seven types of surrogacy arrangements and two types of surrogate mothers. They are:
- Traditional Surrogacy
This process involves the surrogate mother to be genetically related to the child she is carrying on behalf of the intended parent. The child will automatically become the generic child of the surrogate.
Traditional surrogacy is legal in Canada and it has gradually become a rapid answer to infertility in Canada as it rarely involves a medical facility. Also, it is more attractive to intending parent due to the low cost involved in it. Bear in mind that the process has a higher legal risk involved.
- Gestational Surrogacy
This involves no generic link to the child from the gestational career. The process is carried out by either using the intended mother’s ova or employ the service of an egg donor.
This is the most popular method of surrogacy globally, as the child is not in any way related to the gestational surrogate. In a province like Ontario, a pre-conception surrogacy agreement is required before the embryo is transferred.
The average cost of gestational surrogacy in Canada ranges from 75,000 – 150,000 CAD. This cost account for all necessary expenses like medical fees, attorney fees, counselling fees, agency fees, surrogate living fees and reimbursement.
Note that some of these fees differ per surrogate mother, where she lives and other miscellaneous. Also, insurance may not cover the medical fees for intended parents and their surrogates. So, it is always advisable to budget above the average estimation you have.
Finally, intending parents should weigh their options before embarking on any of the surrogate options. It is also important to bear in mind that like with any other fertility treatment, surrogacy is not guaranteed, and there are always risks that should be discussed before-hand.