What is surrogacy?
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 woman who will carry the embryo is known as the surrogate or gestational carrier.
It´s important to know that surrogacy is a complex process, usually involving a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological and ethical decisions. Understanding the full scope of the process is the first step towards making the decision that is best for you and your loved ones.
What are the different types of Surrogacy?
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy
In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate mother is artificially inseminated, either by the intended father or an anonymous donor, and carries the baby to term. This is called traditional surrogacy because the surrogate’s eggs and uterus are used. The child is genetically related to both the surrogate mother, who provides the egg, and the intended father or anonymous donor.
Traditional surrogacy is more controversial than gestational surrogacy andalthough traditional surrogacy still exists in Canada, few doctors will inseminate a woman knowing that she intends to give up the child and few lawyers would choose to act on behalf of either party given the surrogacy has become a self-help remedy. With or without a surrogacy agreement biological relationship between the surrogate and the child often complicates the facts of the case if parental rights or the validity of the surrogacy agreement are challenged.
The lower costs related with traditional surrogacy make it an attractive option to some, but it carries remarkable legal risk.
In gestational surrogacy, a surrogate mother carries a donated embryo to term. The embryo could be the result of IVF treatment using the intended mother’s egg and the intended father’s sperm or donor gametes could be involved. This means the baby is thereby genetically related to the woman who donated the egg and the intended father or sperm donor, but not the surrogate.