Gestational Surrogacy


Gestational surrogacy is a fertility option, which allows the intended parents to achieve a pregnancy by first creating embryos through IVF with their own eggs and sperm and then transferring these embryos to another woman, called the gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate. If a pregnancy results, the gestational carrier then carries this pregnancy to term.

The gestational carrier makes no genetic contribution and provides only the womb for the development of the baby.

When the intended parents cannot provide suitable eggs or sperm, a donor might be used (see DI or egg donor).

After birth, the gestational carrier relinquishes care, responsibility and legal parenthood of the baby and the intended parents assume parental responsibilities.

Gestational surrogacy is indicated for women:

  • without a uterus or without a functional uterus
  • with underlying medical problems which could cause risks to mother or baby in pregnancy
  • with a history of multiple failed IVF cycles
  • with repetitive pregnancy losses

Gestational surrogacy may be used in conjunction with donor eggs to allow gay couples and single men to parent.

The Fertility Clinic does not recruit gestational carriers for those interested in gestational surrogacy. It is the responsibility of individuals or couples who wish to pursue gestational surrogacy to locate their own gestational carrier.

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 since more than two people are involved.  Success can depend on several factors, including the egg provider’s age, the quality of the male partner’s sperm, the presence of other fertility problems and the health of the surrogate.

Canada law prohibits the commercialization of gestational surrogacy including the payment of the gestational surrogate, although the surrogate can be reimbursed for her expenses..

For more information on The Fertility Clinic protocols, please see our “Protocols and Procedures” in the “Patient Information” section.