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What are the rules surrounding surrogacy in Canada?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It can be a last resort for couples struggling to conceive. But what are the rules surrounding surrogacy in Canada, and why might a couple look somewhere else for someone to carry their baby?

A couple from Pitt Meadows is struggling to get their newborn twins home from Mexico.

Those twins — Ayden and Ariana Smith — have now been issued their birth certificates after being born prematurely through surrogacy earlier this month. It’s one more critical step toward getting to Canada.

“In Canada, you can only work with a surrogate or a carrier… who is doing it for altruistic reasons,” says Dr. Sonya Kashyap with Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver.

That means a person cannot be paid for carrying a baby, which basically limits the options to a friend or family member.

“In the US and other countries, it can be more of a commercial business, where there are brokers and agencies that arrange contracts and relationships between intended parents and gestational carriers, and there are financial transactions involved,” says Kashyap.

In Canada, a carrier not only needs to meet legal requirements, but medical ones as well.

Ayden and Ariana still have health challenges to overcome and their parents are hoping enough money will be raised to pay off their enormous medical bills.

A website has been set up for anyone wanting to donate to the family.