A surrogate mother is a woman who carries a baby to full term on behalf of someone else. The surrogate mother’s own eggs can be used, fertilized by a sperm from a male donor (intended father), or a couple’s own egg and sperm can be implanted artificially into a woman who will carry the baby to term.
Economically, there are two types of surrogacy, Commercial Surrogacy whereby the woman is paid a fee for the service of carrying the child, or Altruistic Surrogacy where a woman volunteers to be a surrogate mother with no financial compensation, except for medical expenses arising during the pregnancy. Canada, the UK and Australia prohibit commercial surrogacy, but Canada permits altruistic surrogacy…
No International Standards
It is shocking that there are no international standards for surrogacy. Laws differ from country to country and, in the US, from state to state. For example, Idaho, formerly known for its potatoes and rugged landscape, is now also known as the unofficial capital for surrogacy in the US. This is due to its lack of regulations on surrogacy which creates a “wild west”, with no legal certainty about surrogate contracts. This may soon change as a bill is currently under consideration to regulate the practice.