Currently, surrogacy in Canada is illegal when a person profits from the intended parents. As with many places, “reasonable” costs can be covered, these can be made up of medical bills, loss of earnings from time off, maternity wear etc. The National Post in Canada reflected on a notion put forward by Anthony Housefather MP that the financial caps on surrogacy or paying for gametes should be scrapped. Of course, the idea of such radical changes has prompted intense ethical debate.
The main concern is to protect men and women from reproductive exploitation. The federal government made the payment of surrogacy a criminal offence in 2004 with the guidance of the Human Reproductive Act. As with a lot of regulation involving reproduction around the world there are often heavy grey areas. With an ever increasing demand for assisted reproduction it is important that as much clarity is provided to protect parents and their future families.
Whilst at first glance it seems that Housefather’s proposal is for the benefit of hopeful families in Canada, when consulting with the public it seems the general opinion is that financial incentives will cause more damage than good if brought into the law.