What happens during the cycle month and embryo transfer?

The embryo transfer procedure will be performed two to five days after the donor or intended parents’ eggs have been harvested and fertilized. Embryo transfers usually take approximately twenty minutes. The embryo transfer is performed with a very fine catheter that is inserted vaginally into the uterus through the cervix.

Surrogates will be required to stay and rest in the IVF centre for approximately twenty minutes to one hour following the transfer procedure. She may also be required to stay in a nearby hotel for a bed rest period of time as specified by the clinic, which is usually between 24-48 hours.

If the surrogate is required to fly for the procedure, she may be required to stay through the period specified for bed rest. This decision will be made by the physician and intended parents. All expenses will be covered by the intended parents as receiptable expenses.

Following the embryo transfer, the surrogate’s activity may be limited. These limitations will be determined by the clinic and intended parents. All these medications are extremely important and MUST be taken as instructed by the clinic, or otherwise there is a risk of comprising the IVF cycle, having a miscarriage and being in breach of contract. Please remember each clinic varies slightly in their protocol.

Can I still have sex with my partner?

Each IVF clinic will have its own protocol and restrictions for sexual activity. At most clinics, the surrogate will be asked to either abstain from sexual relations entirely or to use a combination of effective barriers prior to starting any of the injectable medications and to completely abstain from the beginning of medications until cleared by the primary IVF physician.

This is usually, in our experience, two weeks before and after the transfer. This will be depending on the ongoing status of the pregnancy and the orders of the physician.

Surrogates will also be asked to stop any heavy exercising during the medication stage and possibly throughout the pregnancy if there is difficulty with the pregnancy. This will also be determined by the primary IVF physician

“Will I be asked to have an abortion?”

This will be discussed from the onset and we make sure everyone is on the same page. Realistically no one can make you, but if you refuse an abortion after you agree to it in the contract, then the contract is broken and reimbursements stop.

You will never be pressured into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing, but it’s important to set expectations at the outset for all those involved.

“What is the citizenship of the child?”

In the event that the IPs are from another country, the child goes home with a Canadian birth certificate and a Canadian passport. It is the responsibility of the IP to apply for citizenship of the child in their home country.

“Will I get left with a baby if they change their mind?”

The answer is no – however, in the very unlikely event that the IP’s don’t take their child, the lawyers would step in and the child would immediately be placed in a loving home. There is a massive waiting list for adoption in Canada.

It’s important to emphasize that the child will NOT be abandoned and you will not be overburdened with a responsibility you’re not prepared for.

“Is the baby mine?”

In the event of Gestational Surrogacy, the answer is no. At the beginning of the process, everyone signs a Declaration of Parentage which states that the Intended Parents are indeed the parents.

Lawyers take the birth registry from the hospital, file for the birth certificate, and make sure the IPs names are on the birth certificate from the start (varies from province to province). The lawyer will take care of these steps.