The situation of the Australian couple charged with abandoning their son together with his Thai surrogate mother when they learned he has Down syndrome is drawing attention to the spread of so-called surrogacy tourism.
Complicating the Thailand case is always that the Australian father is a convicted child se-x offender. Talking to an Australian media outlet on Sunday, David Farnell said the couple ended up being told ahead of the birth their son has Down syndrome, which at that time they “expected the surrogacy agency to give them a refund and find a solution.”
Some countries, including India, Ukraine and Thailand, who have relatively lenient regulations around surrogacy cost are popular for parents in western world trying to find lower-cost surrogacy options.
In Canada, while surrogacy is legal, providing compensation for the surrogate is prohibited.
To clarify the rules in Canada, CTVNews.ca has gotten a peek at this country’s surrogacy laws.
Do Canadian surrogate mothers get money?
In Canada, “commercial surrogacy”, which sees surrogate moms receive money for carrying a couple’s child, is illegal. It’s also illegal for would-be parents seeking a surrogate to promote that they’re ready to pay a woman for the service.
It really is legal, however, to reimburse a surrogate for that expenses she incurs on account of the pregnancy. This is called “altruistic surrogacy.”
All surrogacy contracts in Quebec, whether commercial or altruistic, are unenforceable.
Dr. Clifford Librach, medical director at Create fertility clinic in Toronto, said surrogacy arrangements in Canada are normally associated with legal contracts.
Librach told CTV News Channel that issues with regards to the custody of the child after birth and what could happen if the abnormality or health issue is noticed before birth could be addressed from the contract.
“It’s unlikely in Canada, where we certainly have really good testing prenatally, that (a severe abnormality) would have only been acquired so late within the pregnancy,” Librach said inside an interview Monday.
Which kind of screening do couples searching for a surrogate undergo?
Librach said he’s never encountered an instance wherein a convicted se-x offender has pursued a surrogacy birth. But he noted that it is something which could occur in Canada.
“We can’t stop anyone from having a child naturally. Regardless of whether we have a fertility patient arrived at us, these sorts of things we could not know,” he said. “We will find out about psychological or psychiatric issues — once we knew with that, certainly it could be significant factor.”
Librach said every one of the Create clinics have an ethics committee and clients experience an ethical evaluation, in addition to legal and psycho-social assessments.
Surrogates are reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses while being pregnant, which could include pre-natal vitamins, medication, childcare, maternity clothes, and travel costs.
A surrogate mom could get reimbursed for the loss of work wages if she’s needed to be on bed rest for the healthiness of the embryo or fetus.
Paying a surrogate mother’s mortgage, unpaid bills, or school tuition is regarded as illegal, however.
Those found accountable for breaking what the law states surrounding surrogacy in Canada could face a sentence of ten years in jail, along with a fine of up to $500,000.
Just how much should a couple of have saved for the surrogacy pregnancy in Canada?
Those seeking a gestational surrogacy, where an embryo from the intended parents is implanted into a surrogate mom through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), the cost of IVF alone can range from $ten thousand to over $20,000, depending on the clinic and variety of treatments required. This will not include the fee for medication.
Expenses before and through pregnancy may range from $11,000 to more than $28,000 for expenses incurred heading for an IVF clinic, childcare, airfare/accommodations, lost wages, medications, etc.
Legal expenses could cost up to $ten thousand and further costs including medical care after birth, life insurance policies, DNA testing, medical and psychological evaluations also increase the cost.
According to the surrogacy support website Surrogacy In Canada, the normal cost for the gestational surrogacy typically runs between $32,000 to more than $76,000.
Canadian law will make it illegal for any third-party, say for example a fertility clinic, to simply accept money for connecting an infertile individual or couple into a surrogate mom, or advertise for such services.
Because surrogacy agents became illegal in 2004, beneath the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, couples must get a surrogate mother by themselves. Most get their search on the internet with classifieds posted on major find surrogate mother websites.
Canadians can make use of American surrogacy agencies, that provide prospective parents with profiles of screened and approved surrogates. These agencies charge between $4,000 and $18,000.
Librach estimates there are between 300 and 500 surrogacy arrangements every year. He stated surrogacy in Canada is “active”, but it really doesn’t can compare to the volume of surrogate pregnancy that transpire each year in the usa.
Librach said some Canadians do travel overseas to plan for surrogacy pregnancies – called reproductive tourism.
“The reason being usually for the reason that pricing is a lot less, and unfortunately the regulations are nowhere near as strict since they are in Canada,” he was quoted saying. “There might be many problems that (the mother and father) may encounter that could placed the situation in jeopardy.”