Hidden from view: Canadian gestational surrogacy practices and outcomes, 2001-2012

Article English OPEN
White, Pamela (2016)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Subject: K

This paper raises some troubling questions about the fertility treatments provided to Canadian gestational surrogates, women not genetically related to the child that they carry. Using information published between 2003 and 2012 by Canada’s Assisted Reproduction Registry, the paper traces the growing incidence of births to gestational surrogates. The transfer of more than one embryo increases the chance of pregnancy and the incidence of multiple births, and while the incidence of multiple births has declined overall since 2010, gestational surrogates consistently experience a higher proportion of multiple births and experienced higher levels of multiple embryo transfers. In 2012, just 26% of gestational surrogates received a single embryo transfer compared to 47% of other in vitro fertilisation (IVF) patients. The paper suggests that renewed attention needs to be paid to the counselling provided to gestational surrogates and treatment consenting mechanisms used by IVF clinics and that review of the 2007 Canadian Medical Association surrogate treatment guidelines is warranted. Finally, the paper describes the difficulties in obtaining accurate data about Canadian assisted reproductive medicine. Without good data, it becomes far more difficult to identify the possibility of potentially harmful practices.
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