In Canada, in-vitro fertilization, embryo freezing, and adoption applications can be very expensive options for infertile couples trying to have a baby. Commercial surrogacy was outlawed in Canada about 8 years ago, under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. The Act prohibited the commercialization of human reproduction, because it was seen as "not in keeping with Canadian values."
But there is nothing stopping Canadians from travelling overseas to India, where highly-skilled, English-speaking medical professionals offer assisted reproductive technologies, including surrogacy, in the absence of governmental regulation. The result is a relatively affordable, ever-expanding and increasingly controversial industry. Now there is a bill before the Indian government that aims to provide basic protections for surrogates. But many fear it won't go far enough.
Tanya Springer, a producer with our show and a member of the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight family, travelled to India to learn more. Her special report documentary, "Of Mothers and Merchants", airs tomorrow, March 28, on The Current, on CBC Radio One, at 9:30 a.m.