At Genesis we are pleased to help couples who require surrogacy to have children. We’ve been helping couples have children through surrogacy for over a decade.
There are two types of surrogacy:
Traditional surrogacy is when a woman (called a surrogate mother) carries and delivers a pregnancy conceived with her eggs for a couple. After the birth she gives the child to the intended parents with whom she has a contract. Traditional surrogacy is not performed at Genesis.
Gestational carrier surrogacy is when a woman (called a gestational carrier) becomes pregnant after an embryo is transferred into her uterus. The embryo was created from another woman’s eggs, and so the gestational carrier is not genetically related to the child. After birth, she gives the child to the biological mother and/or father, or to a parent who is also unrelated to the child (for example, because the child was conceived using a donor egg or is a result of a donated embryo).
Under the Assisted Human Reproduction Technology Act passed in 2004, a surrogate mother may be reimbursed for expenses such as prenatal vitamins, costs of traveling to the doctor, and loss of income. However, she cannot receive any sort of wage for carrying the child.
Commercial surrogacy is a form of surrogacy in which a surrogate or gestational carrier is paid. This procedure is legal in several countries, but not in Canada. Consequently there is no list of surrogates available at Genesis. By law we cannot put couples needing surrogacy in contact with potential surrogates; rather, the couple must find a surrogate themselves.
To be a surrogate a woman must be healthy, have a BMI <= 30 kg/m2), be under age 45 and have had at least one healthy, term pregnancy.
We pride ourselves in providing a thorough screening process, commitment to safety, and full disclosure of the risks and successes of surrogacy. Intended parents require a legal contract between themselves and the potential surrogate. This legal contract is arranged privately. Also, a counselling session is required for the intended parents and the surrogate prior to starting treatment. Once these medical, legal and counselling components are complete we can start the process.
Traditional surrogacy is an option for a woman who does not have functioning ovaries nor a functioning uterus. Examples of causes include:
- After a after hysterectomy that includes removal of the ovaries
- Previous radiation or other treatment that has damaged the uterus and ovaries
We refer to the woman and her partner as “intended parents.” The intended mother will not be genetically related to the child as the surrogate’s egg is used with the intended father’s sperm to create the child. The surrogate carries and delivers the child, giving the child to the intended parents after the birth.
Once the medical, psychological and legal components are in place, the surrogate mother undergoes intrauterine insemination (IUI) with sperm from the intended father. After birth, the surrogate then gives the child to the intended parents.
If a pregnancy is not achieved after 4-6 months of inseminations, fertility treatments like IVF are often considered.
At Genesis, we do not perform traditional surrogacy for legal and emotional reasons. To date, the only surrogacy cases that have been challenged in court (e.g. where the surrogate is not willing to give the child to the intended parents) have been traditional surrogacy cases. For this reason we do not engage in traditional surrogacy. Protection of the intended parents, fetus/child and the surrogate is at the heart of program.
GESTATIONAL CARRIER SURROGACY
A woman who has healthy ovaries but who cannot carry a pregnancy for one of the following reasons would require a gestational carrier:
- Absent uterus (e.g. after hysterectomy)
- Uterine abnormalities (e.g. severe scarring)
- Medical reasons that make pregnancy unsafe
Once the medical, psychological and legal components are in place, the intended parents under go In Vitro Fertilization and the resulting embryo(s) are transferred into the carrier’s uterus. After birth, the surrogate then gives the child to the intended parents.
We perform gestational carrier surrogacy for 15-20 couples each year at Genesis.
For more information please contact us.