It's illegal to pay a surrogate mother in Canada. So what would motivate a woman do it?

Published on Tuesday February 17th, 2015 by Denise Balkissoon

For some couples (or individuals), their only hope of growing their family is through the amazing, loving gift of life a surrogate mother offers!

So why, if it is illegal to pay a surrogate mother in Canada, would a woman be motivated to carry someone else's embryos?

Read on and see...

Gillian Harnum, seen at a playground near her home in Halifax, has been a surrogate mother to two children. (PAUL DARROW For The Globe and Mail)

For 2 1/2 years, Sara Karklins tried very, very hard to get pregnant. In the fall of 2010, she began the process of in-vitro fertilization – an embryo was formed in a fertility clinic, then implanted into her uterus. The process required megadosing with six times the amount of estrogen given to menopausal women, in order to build up her uterine lining. For three days before each embryo transfer, she also received progesterone injections, which left her buttock muscles swollen, itchy and bruised. Her mood swings were sharp and unpredictable.

Again and again, the embryos failed to attach to Karklins’s uterus. Her fertility doctors injected a blood thinner into her stomach every day to increase blood flow to the uterus. Twice, she took an immunosuppressant to try and stop her body’s rejection of the embryos. The result was a serious respiratory infection, as well as another pregnancy failure.

"These are women who give up their very bodies for complete strangers... "

Karklins, now 32, wasn’t trying to have a baby for herself – she and her then-husband already had two children. The never-ending schedule of pills, needles and doctor’s appointments was for a male couple for whom she had agreed to be a surrogate mother. And, in keeping with Canadian law, she was doing it all for free.
"For surrogates and IPs, the process of finding one another is
as indescribable and chemical as romance.
Repeatedly, both sides use the phrase “you just know.”

“My mother said more than once, ‘You tried, and did your best, maybe it’s time to move on,’” says Karklins, an administrative manager at a greenhouse in Beamsville, Ont. “But I’m stubborn.”
After 15 lost embryos in five failed attempts, Karklins felt like giving up: Not because of personal discomfort, she says, but because she felt she was letting down the would-be fathers. “We had tried three different egg donors – the only thing left to take out of the equation was me,” she says.

Read the full story here.