Surrogacy is the process in which a woman carries and delivers a baby for another individual/couple who are referred to as the intended parent(s). Individuals and/or couples who commonly require surrogacy are the following:
- The female is unable to carry a pregnancy due to a surgical or congenital absence of the uterus
- The female has an abnormality of the uterus that makes it unable for her to successfully carry a pregnancy
- Medical conditions that would threaten the health and safety of the intended mother if she were to carry a pregnancy
- Multiple unexplained previous IVF failures despite good quality embryos
- Biologic inability to conceive or bear a child (e.g. male individual and/or couple)
Two types of surrogacy exist including traditional and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the woman carrying the pregnancy has a genetic relationship to the child (her own egg was used to create the fetus). In gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic relationship between the surrogate and fetus she is carrying (another woman’s egg was used to create the fetus). The laws in Canada require that surrogacy can only occur in an altruistic fashion (no payment or benefit to the surrogate woman). There are a number of factors that must be considered when working with a surrogate. Due to the numerous medical legal and social complexities, RCC maintains a multidisciplinary approach involving nurses, physicians, reproductive psychologists, as well as referred lawyers who specialize in third party reproduction. While it’s quite rare to use a traditional surrogate, at RCC our team has experience in working with all types of surrogacy.