This is the surrogate mothers’ club: women that volunteer to give birth to a stranger’s child and receive only expenses in exchange.
In Canada, many women volunteer to give birth to a stranger’s child and do not get paid in return. Under Canadian laws, gestational surrogates receive only expenses in exchange for getting pregnant and carrying a baby for nine months. There is an altruistic surrogacy model in place, radically different from commercial surrogacy in other countries.
This forward-thinking country has seen a dramatic increase in surrogacy, with an estimated 400% growth over the last decade, and has welcomed intended parents from all over the globe, who get matched to a Canadian surrogate to go on a life-changing journey together.
Surrogates in Canada are part of a tight-knit community: they get together to share experiences and exchange advice, as the country debates changes in its legislation to respond to the increasing demand of women who volunteer as gestational carriers.
But why do they do it? The BBC’s Valeria Perasso follows them as they navigate the emotional challenges of giving life to a baby that they will say goodbye to after birth, and meets the families who will welcome home these special babies..