Gestational surrogacy is a fertility treatment option that allows a woman, called the gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate, to carry a baby on behalf of an individual/couple by transferring an embryo (derived from another woman’s egg) into her uterus using IVF.
Under this treatment, the gestational carrier makes no genetic contribution to the offspring. They simply provide the womb for the development of the baby.
After the eggs are retrieved from the woman and fertilized with sperm, the embryo is allowed to grow and is then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus with a catheter according to standard IVF procedures.
When parents cannot provide suitable eggs or sperm, a donor may be used.
After birth, the gestational carrier agrees to give up any legal rights she may have over the newborn and the intended parents take over parental responsibilities immediately.
Gestational surrogacy is indicated for women:
Gestational surrogacy may be used in conjunction with donor eggs to allow same sex couples and single men parent.
It is up to individuals or couples who want to pursue gestational surrogacy to suggest and introduce their own gestational carriers. Gestational carriers, like egg donors and sperm donors, undergo a thorough screening, including medical and psychological evaluation, before starting IVF procedures.
The main risks are related to ovarian stimulation (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)) for the egg provider, and to multiple pregnancies or pregnancy complications for the gestational carrier.
The success rate of Gestational Surrogacy can vary significantly since more than two people are involved. Success can also depend on several factors, including the egg provider’s age, the quality of the male partner’s sperm and the coexistence of other fertility problems.
Canadian law prohibits the commercialization of gestational surrogacy including the payment of the gestational surrogate.