Expenses & Reimbursement

In Canada under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, surrogate mothers cannot be paid a fee or compensated for the act of carrying a baby.  This means surrogacy and egg donation in Canada is “altruistic” and not “commercialized”.

However, surrogates can be reimbursed for expenses they incur during this process.

Health Canada has not outlined in detail what is considered an expense and what isn’t; only that it must be related to the surrogacy/pregnancy process.  Not all individuals interpret what’s considered a reimbursable expense the same way and you may even find different interpretations among various surrogacy professionals (including doctors and lawyers).

Generally, if a surrogate is financially out of pocket for any reason related to the surrogacy process, it's considered an expense. A surrogate mother (and her family) should not take a financial loss while helping her intended parents to create their family.

The average total reimbursement amount for surrogate mothers in Canada ranges from $18,000-$33,000 (this includes pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post partum).

There are a lot of variations with expenses as it depends on all parties location, whether or not a surrogate mother claims lost wages (and wage amount), and/or the possibility of pregnancy/birth complications (such as bedrest).

Personal gifts such as flowers, baked goods, fruit baskets or gift certificates are considered acceptable and are common practice.

Surrogate mothers can also receive up to 15 weeks of Employment Insurance (EI) if they meet the requirements. For more information click here.

If you ever have questions about expenses/reimbursements do not hesitate to contact us or your legal counsel.

*Please note that the following information is not an exact list but an example to help guide you to understand what are considered reasonsable surrogacy expenses.

 

Surrogate Pre-Pregnancy Expenses
*Surrogate mothers must provide receipts and/or an itemized list of expenses before reimbursement.

  • Lost Wages

As incurred for appointments including partner/support person to attend/assist.  If you cannot personally attend appointments with your surrogate, it’s common practice to offer to cover the cost of a support person.

  • Childcare

As incurred for appointments.

  • Medications/Syringes/Pregnancy Tests/Vitamins/Medical

IVF cycling medications/syringes, pregnancy tests and vitamins etc. Some bloodwork/ultrasounds may possibly be billed as “third party medical” if the intended parents are international.

  • Life Insurance Policy & Will

It is a standard of care to cover the cost of a will and life insurance policy for your surrogate mother in the event of death. This should be put in place BEFORE any attempts to become pregnant as there is risk of death with early pregnancy (or travelling to appointments).  A policy of $500,000-$1,000,000 is recommended, please contact us for a referral to an experienced insurance agent that specializes in surrogacy insurance. If you use your own insurance provider, please make sure they do NOT have a surrogacy exclusion. 

  • Travel/Mileage/Parking Tolls

As incurred for legal/clinic/doctor appointments, picking up medications, including bloodwork, ultrasounds, and the embryo transfer etc.  This includes the cost of airfare/bus/train/taxi/subway and hotel accommodations.  If a surrogate has to travel more than 2 hours one way for any appointment, it’s customary to offer to put her (and her support person) in overnight accommodations so that she does not risk missing an early appointment due to travelling/traffic.

  • Legal

Intended parents are responsible for covering the cost of a surrogate mother’s independent legal counsel.

  • Groceries

All costs related to organic/specialty diets (such as vegetarian/vegan/religious) if requested by the intended parents.

  • Snow Removal/Animal Care

If a surrogate mother is away for appointments/travelling and cannot be home to take care of snow removal and/or pet/farm animals. *Generally reimbursed for single surrogate mothers or those with partners who work away from home for extended periods.

Surrogate Pregnancy & Post Partum Expenses
*Generally paid monthly or as outlined in your legal surrogacy agreement.  Surrogate mothers must provide receipts and/or an itemized list of expenses before reimbursement. Post Partum expenses are typically reimbursed for up to 6-10weeks post partum.

  • Lost Wages/Appointments

As incurred for doctor appointments, bloodwork and ultrasounds (including invasive procedures such as a D&C, amniocentesis, selective reduction, etc.)

  • Lost Wages/Unable to Work

If a surrogate mother is unable to continue at her place of employment because of the pregnancy, lost wages can be reimbursed.  Under the law, a surrogate mother must have a doctor’s note certifying that due to the pregnancy she is unable to work.  If a surrogate mother qualifies for EI or other benefits, the difference can be reimbursed.  A surrogate mother must be able to show proof of income either through a copy of a paystub or monthly bank statements.

  • Childcare

As incurred for appointments.

  • Medications/Syringes/Pregnancy Tests/Vitamins/Medical

IVF cycling medications/syringes, pregnancy tests, anti-nausea/heartburn medications, prescriptions and vitamins etc. Some bloodwork/ultrasounds may possibly be billed as “third party medical” if the intended parents are international.

  • Travel/Mileage/Parking Tolls

As incurred for legal/clinic/doctor appointments, picking up medications, including bloodwork, ultrasounds, and the embryo transfer etc.  This includes the cost of airfare/bus/train/taxi/subway and hotel accommodations.  If a surrogate has to travel more than 2 hours one way for any appointment, it’s customary to offer to put her (and her support person) in overnight accommodations so that she does not risk missing an early appointment due to travelling/traffic.

  • Life Insurance Policy

It is a standard of care to cover the cost of a life insurance policy for your surrogate mother in the event of death.  This should be put in place BEFORE any attempts to become pregnant as there is risk of death with early pregnancy (or travelling to appointments).  A policy for $500,000-$1,000,000 is recommended, please contact us for a referral to an experienced insurance agent that specializes in surrogacy insurance. If you use your own insurance provider, please make sure they do NOT have a surrogacy exclusion. 

  • Legal

Intended parents are responsible for covering the cost of a surrogate mother’s independent legal counsel.

  • Groceries

It’s common practice to cover a portion of a surrogate mother's monthly groceries (personal consumption) as pregnant women need to consume up to an additional 500 calories/day. All costs related to organic/specialty diets (such as vegetarian/vegan/religious) if requested by the intended parents can also be reimbursed.  Some surrogates may develop gestational diabetes which can result in diet changes and increased food costs they may not have anticipated. Typically intended parents cover 40% of the household grocery costs.

  • Maternity Clothing

Maternity clothes as needed (including winter jackets/support for breasts/belly).

  • Phone/Internet/Printing/Fax

A portion of a surrogate mother’s monthly phone/internet may be covered due to the cost of calling for appointments with the clinic/physicians and also printing/faxing paperwork.

  • Health & Fitness

Massage/acupuncture/dental/chiropractor and/or water related activities (such as prenatal aquafit) for any pregnancy related discomfort or complications.

  • Bedrest

If complications arise and a surrogate mother must go on bedrest, intended parents are responsible to reimburse for housekeeping/childcare and meal preparation (if needed).

  • Snow Removal/Grass Cutting/Animal Care

If a surrogate mother (due to pregnancy complications or discomfort) is unable to take care of snow removal/grass cutting and/or pet/farm animals. *Generally reimbursed for single surrogate mothers or those with partners who work away from home for extended periods.

  • Pregnancy Supplies/Feminine Hygeine

Pregnancy pillow to assist with sleeping (if needed). Feminie hygeine products, including products for incontinence due to complications.

  • Breastmilk

Breast pump purchase/rental, milk storage bags and cost of shipping.