Fertility and surrogacy law in Canada is regulated under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, and its associated regulations. This is a very complex and confusing piece of legislation, and area of law. The use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) is legal in Canada. However, there are very strict laws that regulate the use of ARTs, and it is important that anyone relying on third party reproduction speak to a fertility lawyer before any big decisions are made.

Parentage laws also vary by province. It is crucial you speak to a lawyer in your province regarding the specific parentage laws that govern that province, and the implications for your family building journey.

Please contact Lianna with any inquiries on fertility and surrogacy law when you are considering using ARTs to build your family.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy is when someone carries a child for an individual or couple who are the intended parents of the child. It is the intention of the surrogate and the intended parents that the surrogate will give the child to the intended parents upon the child’s birth.

Surrogacy is legal Canada, however paying a surrogate in Canada is ILLEGAL. The surrogate can only be reimbursed for expenses related to the surrogacy. Paying a surrogate in Canada is a criminal offence and carries severe penalties, including fines and jail time.

The legislation, regulations and case law surrounding surrogacy in Canada are complicated. It is crucial that intended parents and their surrogate speak to their own lawyers when they begin to consider a surrogacy journey. A surrogacy agreement must be drafted and negotiated BEFORE any embryos can be transferred into the surrogate. This will ensure that everyone involved understands their rights, obligations, and expectations as is relates to the surrogacy.

Surrogacy

If the parties do not sign a surrogacy agreement before the transfer of embryos, they will need to undertake additional legal steps to be recognized as the legal parents of the child. This may come in the form of a Declaration of Parentage or a second parent adoption, both of which require commencing a court proceeding. Again, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer specializing in fertility law to avoid this additional financial cost, time cost and unnecessary stress.

Please contact Lianna if you have any questions regarding surrogacy, or if you are considering being a surrogate or using a surrogate.

Egg donation

Egg donation is when someone donates their eggs to an individual or couple who require donor eggs for reproductive purposes. Anyone considering donating their eggs should speak to a lawyer and medical professionals to discuss the risks associated with egg donation, as it can be a very invasive procedure. Egg donation is legal in Canada; however, it is ILLEGAL to pay an egg donor for their eggs. An egg donor can only be reimbursed for expenses related to the donation. Paying an egg donor in Canada is a criminal offence and carries severe penalties, including fines and jail time.

Individuals or couples can proceed one of two ways when considering using donor eggs. They can use either a known donor or an unknown donor. Although those considering using an egg donor should speak to a lawyer regardless of the method they choose, an egg donor agreement is crucial where you are using donor eggs from someone you know.

Although you may trust your family member or friend to be fair and reasonable in this process, things can get complicated and emotional without an egg donor agreement in place. An egg donor agreement is the best way to establish parentage for the child, and outline each party’s rights, obligations, intentions, and expectations when entering into an egg donor agreement.

An egg donor agreement should be signed BEFORE the egg is used for reproductive purposes. Failure to do this could trigger the commencement of court proceedings to establish the legal parentage of the child.

Please contact Lianna if you have any questions regarding egg donation, or if you are considering being an egg donor or using an egg donor.

Sperm Donation

Sperm donation is when someone donates their sperm to an individual or couple who require donor sperm for reproductive purposes. Sperm donation is legal in Canada; however, it is ILLEGAL to pay a sperm donor for their sperm. A sperm donor can only be reimbursed for expenses related to the donation. Paying a sperm donor in Canada is a criminal offence and carries severe penalties, including fines and jail time.

Individuals or couples can proceed one of two ways when considering using donor sperm. They can use either a known donor or an unknown donor. Although those considering using a sperm donor should speak to a lawyer regardless of the method they choose, a sperm donor agreement is crucial where you are using donor sperm from someone you know.

Although you may trust your family member or friend to be fair and reasonable in this process, things can get complicated and emotional without a sperm donor agreement in place. A sperm donor agreement is the best way to establish parentage for the child, and outline each party’s rights, obligations, intentions, and expectations when entering into a sperm donor agreement.

A sperm donor agreement should be signed BEFORE the sperm is used for reproductive purposes. Failure to do this could trigger the commencement of court proceedings to establish the legal parentage of the child.

Please contact Lianna if you have any questions regarding sperm donation, or if you are considering being a sperm donor or using a sperm donor.

Embryo Donation

In some circumstances, people have embryos left over once they are done building their families. Families with leftover embryos have four (4) options with their embryos when they no longer need them:

  • Dispose of the embryos
  • Donate them to scientific research
  • Store them indefinitely
  • Donate them to a family in need

Embryo donation is legal in Canada; however, it is ILLEGAL to pay an embryo donor for their embryo. Paying an embryo donor in Canada is a criminal offence and carries severe penalties, including fines and jail time.

Embryo donation can be known or anonymous. If using an embryo from someone you know, it is crucial that an embryo donation agreement is entered into before the embryo can be used or transferred into the intended parent or surrogate. An embryo donation agreement helps clarify the party’s rights, obligations, intentions, and expectations surrounding the donation, especially around the parentage of the child.

An embryo donation agreement should be signed BEFORE the embryo is used for any purpose. Failure to do this could trigger the commencement of court proceedings to establish the legal parentage of the child.

Please contact Lianna if you have any questions regarding embryo donation, or if you are considering donating your embryos or using an embryo donor.

At Brace Law, we understand that this is a difficult situation to be going through. Our law firm is here to help you navigate the tricky landscape of family law. For more information or support, contact us at 905-815-6555.

Don’t stress

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Don’t stress

Let’s start a conversation