Reproductive Law

ASSISTED REPRODUCTION

Some people require the assistance of reproductive technologies and/or a third party to have a child. This may be due to medical issues or infertility, or simply because a person is having a child without a partner or has a partner of the same sex. The nature of the circumstances will dictate whether and what kind of third party assistance is required.

You may be pursuing egg, sperm or embryo donation. Alternatively, or in addition, you may require a surrogate to carry your baby. Or perhaps you are a surrogate or donor, and you were told you need a lawyer to review the contract with you. In all cases, we can help!

REPRODUCTIVE LAW

Reproductive law (sometimes called fertility law or surrogacy law) is a complex area of law that governs assisted human reproduction. There are numerous gaps in the legislation and few Canadian cases have been decided by the courts. Further, there are significant penalties for violating the laws that do exist. Legal advice is absolutely essential in all cases involving surrogates or known donors.

The Assisted Human Reproduction Act is the legislation that regulates assisted human reproductive technologies in Canada; for example:

  • It prohibits payment for surrogacy (although payment for reasonable expenses is permitted)
  • It prohibits the purchase of sperm or egg from a donor
  • It provides rules with respect to consent to creation of an embryo

There is also provincial law that governs privacy, regulates health professionals and establishes the parentage of a child.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

Surrogates 

  • Review your surrogacy agreement and explain it to you in plain English
  • Ensure you understand the contract before you sign
  • Negotiate your reimbursements
  • Provide independent legal advice
  • Review and commission affidavits for declaration of parentage
  • Draft and witness statutory declarations
  • Provide guidance on whether you are eligible for maternity leave

Donors  

  • Review donor agreements (sperm, egg or embryo)
  • Help you think about how donating your genetic material may affect future decision-making
  • Ensure you understand the contract before you sign
  • Protect your rights and interests
  • Provide independent legal advice
  • Review and commission affidavits for declaration of parentage

Intended Parents

  • Draft a surrogacy agreement that captures your and your surrogate's mutual understanding
  • Protect your legal rights to be recognized as the parent of your child
  • Draft donor agreements (egg, sperm and embryo donation)
  • Draft embryo disposition agreements
  • Complete second parent adoption
  • Apply for declaration of parentage
  • Draft and witness statutory declarations
  • Assist with birth registration and certificate
  • Write travel letters
  • Obtain a passport for your baby if you live outside Canada but your child is born in Ontario
  • Provide guidance on whether you are entitled to parental leave

We guide our clients through the process to ensure they do not contravene the law and that their legal interests are advanced and their rights are protected. We also work to preserve and enhance the relationship with the other parties. Our style is compassionate and friendly. We strive to achieve your goals without losing sight of why the agreement is entered into and the important interests at stake. We also ensure that the intended parents are ultimately the legal parents of the child, through adoption or a declaration of parentage, as appropriate.

For intended parents travelling abroad for surrogacy, we can assist you by providing travel letters. Some governments require legal letters about surrogacy law in Canada prior to providing a medical visa.

Please contact Lisa Feldstein Law Office to inquire about additional services we offer. We can be reached at 416-937-8768. You can call or text!

RELATED TOPICS:

Surrogacy Law

Egg Donation Law

Embryo Donation Law

Embryo Disposition Agreements

RELATED BLOGS:

Proposed Regulations to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act

Surrogacy Contract Process

What happens to frozen embryos when a couple gets divorced?

Is commercial surrogacy becoming legal?

Can surrogacy expenses be deducted when filing taxes?

Charges Against Fertility Consulting Business

Who Should Pay when an Ontario Surrogate Delivers a Child for Non-Resident Parents?

Who Receives OHIP Funding for IVF?

Why intended parents and surrogates should think twice about traditional surrogacy