The Documentary: The Surrogates Club

Confirmed for BBC World Service on 27 November at 1.30pm to 2pm

Tuesday 27 November



This is the surrogate mothers’ club: women in Canada who 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 percent growth over the last decade. And has welcome 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 knit-tight community: they get together to share experiences and exchange advice, as the country debates changes to its legislation to respond to the increasing demand for women who volunteer as gestational carriers.

But, why do they do it? We meet the women behind the statistics to find out. We follow them as they navigate the emotional challenges of giving life to a baby that they'll say goodbye to after birth, and we meet the families who will welcome home these special babies.

This documentary is airing as part of the BBC’s 100 Women season, returning for the 6th year this autumn to shine a spotlight on women’s experiences around the world with three weeks of special programmes, features, big-name interviews and digital content across the BBC’s international TV and radio services and online.