Frequently Asked Questions for Surrogates

When researching surrogacy, surrogates often have many questions ranging from questions about contracts to expenses reimbursements. We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions regarding surrogacy in Canada. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

General Questions and Answers About the Surrogacy Process

Can I be paid to be a Surrogate or an Egg Donor in Canada?

You cannot be paid to be a surrogate or an egg donor in Canada.  However, you are entitled to reimbursable expenses in preparation for, and during your surrogacy journey.  

Can I have a home birth?

Yes, but you must agree on that in advance with your Intended Parents.  Some Intended Parents are not comfortable with a home birth.  For this reason, it is important to communicate early and clearly (perhaps on your surrogacy profile) that a home birth is important to you.  This way, everyone is on the same page about the birth from the beginning.  

Note that any home birth surrogacy contract will state that you will agree to a hospital birth in the event the pregnancy is deemed high risk. 

Do I need to work with a Surrogacy Agency?

No, you do not need to work with a surrogacy agency.  However, agencies are an important resource for help and support during a surrogacy.  

Agencies also assist with ensuring that you are following the law about reimbursable expenses, and protect you against the possibility of your Intended Parents not paying your reimbursements by holding the funds.  

For these reasons, we recommend that you work with a reputable surrogacy agency. 

Can I be forced to have an abortion if there is an abnormality with the baby?

No woman in Canada can ever be forced to have an abortion.   It is important to discuss with your Intended Parents your views on termination of a pregnancy for abnormalities, to make sure that all parties are on the same page about this important issue.

What if I get sick when I am pregnant?

If your doctor says you need to stop working or reduce your workload, or advises that you are ill due to the pregnancy, we will ensure that your contract entitles you to net wage loss (if applicable), and additional supports throughout your illness. 

Can my Intended Parents force me to have a COVID-19 vaccine?

No, your Intended Parents cannot force you to have a COVID-19 vaccine. 

It is important to be clear early on with your Intended Parents if you do not want to have a COVID-19 vaccine, as this may be very important to some Intended Parents, due to research about the risk of COVID-19 for pregnant women, and the impact of vaccination status on travel. 

General Questions and Answers About Surrogacy Contracts

Why do I need a legal surrogacy contract?

Fertility Clinics will not do a surrogacy IVF transfer without confirmation from a lawyer that a legal contract is in place, and you have received independent legal advice.  

A legal contract is important because it protects you and your family and ensures that you and your Intended Parents agree on the key issues that you may encounter during a surrogacy.  We have done thousands of surrogacy contracts.  We know the issues that can arise and we stay involved throughout your surrogacy journey to ensure that you are looked after and supported.

I trust my Intended Parents, why do I need a lawyer?  

You need a lawyer to make sure that you are protected in this process.  Typically there are three reasons that you need a lawyer:

First, we are experienced in all aspects of a surrogacy journey.  We have worked on thousands of surrogacies, and we know what issues can arise.  We will advise you on how to protect yourself and your family.  When we review surrogacy contracts with Surrogates, many say to us “wow, I never thought of that!”.  That’s our job – to think about and protect you in events you may not be considering.  

Second, fertility clinics require proof that there is a surrogacy contract and that the surrogate has had independent legal advice before they will do an IVF transfer.

Third, several Canadian provinces require that you had independent legal advice prior to transfer of the embryo.   Accordingly, if you did not have legal advice prior to the pregnancy there could be problems or delays in establishing parentage for your Intended Parents at the time of the Birth.  

Please note that typically your legal fees will be covered by your Intended Parents.  

What are reimbursable expenses?

Reimbursable expenses are the expenses that a Surrogate incurs over the course of the surrogacy project.  These may include:

  • net lost wages;
  • childcare;
  • medication costs; 
  • travel expenses; 
  • body care / pregnancy support expenses;
  • wellness expenses;
  • insurance expenses;
  • mileage expenses;
  • communication expenses;
  • additional food expenses; and 
  • other items that the Surrogate needs, or spends which are directly related to the surrogacy.

For expenses to be reimbursable, they must meet the requirements set out in Canada’s surrogacy laws, and they must be supported by documentation proving the loss / expense

We are happy to talk through reimbursable expenses with you and we do not charge for introductory calls

What are bedrest expenses?

“Bedrest expenses” is a term that refers to any additional expenses a Surrogate incurs if a doctor or midwife determines that the Surrogate is unable to continue her work (either full time or part time) or care for her home / children in order to protect her own health or the health of the baby.  

Bedrest expenses must be recommended in writing by a doctor or midwife who is caring for the Surrogate, and must be supported with receipts, invoices, paystubs, and other documentation to prove the Surrogate’s loss. 


What happens if I suffer a loss/miscarriage?

Pregnancy losses happen, and can be devastating for everyone involved.  We ensure that your surrogacy contract has protections in place to ensure that you have financial support for expenses and net lost wages, access to therapy, and time to heal both physically and mentally after a pregnancy loss.  

Do I need to keep records of my expenses?

Yes.  If you want to seek reimbursable expenses from the Intended Parents throughout your surrogacy, you will need to keep receipts, invoices, etc. to prove what you have spent / lost.  A surrogacy agency will help you manage receipts and will do most of the work for you – some even have an app that allows you to take a photo of the receipt, which they will then manage!

Does my spouse/partner need to be on the surrogacy contract?

If your partner lives with you (cohabitation) in a common law relationship or marriage, they will likely need to be included in the contract.  However, please speak to your lawyer if you have concerns about this, as we may be able to find a solution.