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Payments to Surrogates in Canada?

Surrogates and intended parents are governed by the Assisted Human Reproduction Act in Canada, and provincial legislation depending in what province you live. It is not currently legal to pay surrogates for their services, except for reimbursement of reasonable and "out of pocket" expenses related to the pregnancy (such as prenatal vitamins or travel to doctor's appointments) or as a result of the pregnancy. As there are no defined regulations in Canada as to which expenses can be reimbursed to the surrogate and to what extent, generally, a "but for" test is used - would the expense occur anyways or has the expense only occurred but for the surrogacy?

The issue of payment for surrogate services is controversial in Canada. Some feel that in allowing payment to the surrogates and generating a more regulated and paid industry, it would allow better and more options when choosing a surrogate. However, some feel that it is against Canadian morals to pay a surrogate and are concerned about the implications this may have, particularly on women's rights and the "commercialization" of pregnancy and child-birth.

A private member's bill (C-404) has been proposed to amend AHRA to allow for payment to a surrogate. This bill has not passed, and it is unclear if it will. Like any controversial bill, there is both strong opposition and support for the bill.

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