Bioethics Blogs

Canada is a booming foreign surrogacy destination

Pamela M. White recounts the ways that Canada is described at a recent surrogacy conference in the United Kingdom.

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Canada’s low dollar, excellent IVF fertility clinics, equality of access regardless of sexual orientation or marital status, and benign legal climate makes Canada an ideal surrogacy destination. This is what Dr. Clifford Librach, Director at CReATe fertility clinic in Toronto and Cindy Wasser, a lawyer at Hope Springs Fertility Law also in Toronto, told an audience of prospective commissioning parents at a recent surrogacy conference in London, England.

Wasser also told the audience that Canada’s “wonderful universal health care system” covers the costs of prenatal care for surrogates. She noted however, that some hospital charges and medical care costs incurred by the infant may need to be paid by the commissioning parents, depending upon the province in which the birth occurs. She assured the audience that so long as the surrogate’s consent, parentage documentation, and citizenship paperwork was in order, commissioning parents who worked with a knowledgeable fertility lawyer should be back home with the baby in about three to four weeks following the birth. She suggested that arranging surrogates birth in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario offers clear advantages in this regard.

In response to questions asked by conference attendees, Wasser also warned of some of the so-called “downsides” of traveling to Canada for surrogacy. This includes Canada’s prohibition on sex selection and the difficulty in securing a twin surrogate pregnancy, because of practice guidelines which favour single embryo transfers for IVF. Commissioning parents who want twins were advised that British Columbia or Alberta may be their best option because these two provinces have yet to charge foreign commissioning parents for a hospital surrogate birth or infant medical care.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.