Where Do We Find Intended Parent in Alberta?

Any article about surrogacy must begin with two names, the Biblical Sarah and Louise Brown, and a legal battle known as the Baby M case. But before we discuss those topics consider the story of Lorraine Brown, the founder of ANU Fertility Consulting Ltd. located in Alberta, Canada. In 2001, she first thought of being a surrogate mother after witnessing a friend’s struggle with infertility. She went on to become a surrogate for an Australian couple giving birth to a daughter in 2006 and by 2009 she launched ANU Fertility office in British Columbia. Today, her main office is in Camrose, AB with three satellite offices in Canada.

Why are Louise Brown and Biblical Sarah important?

Born in 1978, Louise Brown was the first so-called “test-tube baby” literally conceived in a petri dish with the fertilized egg later transferred to the mother by IVF embryo transfer. Louise’s birth opened the door to surrogacy that has helped many people incapable of producing offspring the natural way to become parents. Her birth is important because it proved that technology had grown to make IVF a safe and dependable procedure.

Biblical Sarah is important because it makes us face the moral and ethical issues with a surrogate birth.  Sarah was barren (the Old Testament word for infertile) so she decided to give her husband Abraham her slave girl named Hagar to conceive a child by what we can assume was a natural conception. This led to some animosity by Sarah toward Hagar and the baby Ishmael. Some years later, an elderly Sarah amazingly gave birth to Isaac which resulted in the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael from the family unit and into the wilderness.

What are some of the moral and ethical issues with surrogacy?

Abraham likely made the rules in his day but in 1986, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that surrogacy was illegal in what is called the Baby M case. The 2018 legislation called the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act basically overturned 1986 ruling and made surrogacy legal in the US. In Canada, surrogacy is legal but has strict limitations.

With IVF technology, the problem of actual intercourse between a surrogate and one of the intended parents, as well as the idea of using a slave girl as a surrogate is thankfully non-issues. But what happens if the surrogate decides in mid-pregnancy that she wants to keep the baby or if the intended parents change their mind?  

How does ANU handle these issues?

ANU Surrogacy deals with these issues by having everyone involved first sign a Declaration of Parentage, a legal document naming the Intended Parents as the legal parents. And if the intended parent in Alberta decide that they don’t want the child, it will be placed in a loving home and be made available for adoption. There is a huge waiting list in Canada of people looking to adopt a baby.

Are Surrogates screened?

The answer is Yes, very thoroughly. Prospective Surrogates must be between 21 and 49 years of age and must have given birth to at least one child. ANU has an online quiz that will determine eligibility and all surrogates will be asked to take a psychological evaluation. If you need more information about being a surrogate or are interested in being an Intended Parent in Alberta, then call ANU Surrogacy at 1-604-799-1484 or send an email to [email protected]

Intended Parent Alberta