Canada, Surrogacy

Canada – A baby boy, his mom — and the woman who carried him

Source CBC.ca

When Grayson van Vliet entered the world last week, he had the beginnings of a full head of hair, two tiny hands to press against his face, and a big sister.

Plus a hat, because babies get those right away.

He also has both his mother and the woman who’s been pregnant with him for the last nine months.

Grayson’s mother Kimberly is unable to carry a child because of breast cancer treatments which — even though she’s been declared cancer-free — will continue for another seven years.

The 37-year-old said she and her husband Derek considered a lot of options, including limiting themselves to only one child.

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Canada, Surrogacy

Surrogate mothers: ‘I gave birth but it’s not my baby’

Source BBC.com

Canada has become a hot destination for parents-to-be looking for “altruistic surrogates” – women who give birth to babies they are not genetically related to and only charge pregnancy-related expenses in return.

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Canada, Gay Parenting, Surrogacy

Canada – Who’s the mother?’: Two new dads embrace parenthood after surrogate birth

Source CBC

“Who’s the mother?”

It surprises me how often we get asked that question — often right to our faces — as two dads with a newborn baby girl.

People — often uninformed straight people— are convinced we must have compartmentalized our marital duties into perfectly traditional gender roles. When they ask, “Who’s the mother?” they are actually asking, “Who wears the pants and who wears the skirt?”

Yes, we still get asked that question all the time. In 2018.

I usually answer with something saucy like, “Hey the 1950’s called, they want their mores back.”

When we began our surrogacy journey two years ago, we were cautioned by a psychologist that as a same sex couple we must remain very clear, precise and steadfast with our use of parental terminology. More specifically, we were told to be careful never to allow ourselves and others to misuse the term “mother.”  

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Canada, Surrogacy

Canada – Proposal to pay sperm and egg donors, surrogates spawns controversy

Source CBC

Kevin Martin was conceived with the help of a sperm donor in London, Ont.

On Wednesday, the 32-year-old was driving from his home in Ohio to Toronto to voice opposition to Bill C-404. The legislation would legalize financial compensation for egg and sperm donors — and could make Canada the new nexus of a global fight over assisted reproduction.

Martin and others are set to make their arguments at a public consultation hosted by Health Canada, not on Bill C-404 itself but other potential changes to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.

While many see sperm and egg donation as a way to make it easier for couples struggling with infertility, LGBT couples or prospective single parents to have children, the meeting does not explicitly invite donor-conceived people.

With commercial DNA tests on the rise, those donor-conceived people are finding their hidden genetic history online after decades of donor anonymity being the norm — and they’re demanding new protections in the world of assisted reproduction.

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Canada, Surrogacy

Canadians paying bills for birth tourism

Source Toronto Sun

Call it birth tourism of another kind.

We’ve all heard stories about mothers arriving in Canadian cities just in time to give birth so their child can get Canadian citizenship.

But what about foreign parents having a kid in Canada via surrogacy?

It is happening and it is growing.

In 2016 and 2017 there were 102 babies born to surrogate mothers in British Columbia. A shocking 45 of those babies were born to parents from outside of the country.

Here is the crazy part, you are paying for it and the baby that is quickly whisked off to a foreign land is granted automatic Canadian citizenship.

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Canada, Sperm Donation

Canada – Ottawa proposes partial easing of sperm donation, new surrogacy regulations

Source The Globe and Mail

The Trudeau government proposed new regulations Friday that would lift a ban on men who have sex with other men from donating their sperm anonymously to Canadians struggling with infertility.

The proposed changes, up for review through public consultations, could also see surrogate mothers reimbursed for more of the expenses they face in trying to help people build their families, including loss of income.

Those new regulations under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, if enacted, will help protect the health and safety of women and children, says Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

“They will also offer couples dealing with infertility, single people, same-sex couples and other members of the LGBTQ2 community flexibility in building their families,” the minister said in a statement.

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Canada, Surrogacy

How Canada became an international surrogacy destination

Source The Globe and Mail

Here’s an arresting statistic: Almost half of the babies born to Canadian surrogates in the province of British Columbia in 2016 and 2017 were for intended parents who lived outside the country. That’s 45 of the 102 babies born to surrogates there – 44 per cent.

What’s the national tally on such outbound babies? We don’t know. Rather, we aren’t told. The number could presumably be calculated, since individual physicians carry out the procedures and bill for them, and provinces issue birth certificates. But the information is not publicly available. Then again, we should hardly be surprised: In Canada, we don’t even know the total number of babies born to surrogates for any parent, Canadian or otherwise. I and others have been asking around for some time now.

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Canada, Frozen Embryo Legal Battle

Why Canada court’s ruling on contested embryo is wrong – but also right

Source BioNews

Over the past couple of weeks, much ink has been spilled over the recent Ontario Superior Court decision, SH v DH (see BioNews 961). It is precedent-setting in Ontario and across Canada, being the first published decision determining who may use frozen embryos upon the dissolution of a marriage.

The Ontario court last month awarded the former couple’s frozen embryo to the wife, DH, who wants to use it to become pregnant. This ruling was reached by regarding the embryo – which is not genetically related to either spouse – as ‘property’. While I agree in principle with the result and would like to see DH use the embryo for reasons set out later, based on my interpretation of the Section 8 (Consent) Regulations to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, I believe the decision may be incorrect.

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Canada, Surrogate Mother

Canada – ‘The biggest thing is love’: woman carrying baby for husband’s twin brother

Source CBC

A family from Cape Breton is soon to grow in a unique way.

Matt and Ryan Currie are identical twin brothers.

Ryan is married to Lauren. They live in Westmount, Cape Breton.

Matt lives in Halifax with his husband, Michael.

Lauren is seven months into a pregnancy as the surrogate for Matt and Michael’s child.

“I don’t think that there’s a day that goes by that we don’t pinch ourselves with disbelief and excitement,” said Matt.

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Canada, Surrogacy

Canada – How to fix Quebec’s surrogacy laws

Source National Magazine

Though surrogacy is legal in Canada, surrogacy contracts are mostly deemed unenforceable throughout the country. In Quebec, they are qualified as “absolutely null” under the Civil Code’s article 541. That means that in Quebec a woman who agrees to carry a child for another individual or intended parents is deemed a threat to public order. So the contract, whether verbal or in written form, may not be enforced. But in an article recently published in the Canadian Bar Review, McGill University’s Stefanie Carsley notes that lawmakers have largely failed at dissuading people from taking the risk of entering surrogacy arrangements. Intended parents in the province have sought ways around the unenforceability issue by applying to the courts for legal status through adoption – more specifically through special adoption. This allows one birth parent to maintain their bond of filiation while their spouse adopts the child. Carsley reviews recent Quebec case law addressing article 541 and concludes that the province’s legal framework is failing all parties:
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Canada, Surrogacy, Surrogate Mother

Canada – Surrogate mom who has delivered 7 babies for others ‘would do it all over again’

Source CBC.CA

Kristy Cartwright has given birth to three sets of twins and a baby boy, for four different families — and if she could do it all again, she would in a heartbeat.

This despite the fact that currently, the federal law does not allow surrogates to be paid for their services, although there’s been a recent push to change that law.

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Canada, Sperm Donor Registry

Canada – Has the age of the anonymous sperm donor ended?

Source Ottawa Citizen

Erin Jackson did not learn that her biological father was a sperm donor until she was 35. Until then, her parents had kept it a secret, as the doctor involved had advised.

That information, when it arrived, put Jackson’s entire life into a new perspective. “It was shocking, but it also made complete sense to me. It was probably the most transformational life event I have experienced,” said the Toronto native who now lives in California.

The first question she had after learning the truth was about the donor. And that is where Jackson, like many people who were donor conceived, hit a brick wall. There was no donor number, no health information; her mother didn’t even remember the name of the clinic she used.

“I wanted to know where I came from.”

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Canada, Donor Eggs

Canada – Baylis: Paying for egg donations enters dicey territory

Source Ottawa Citizen

In Canada, it is illegal to pay a woman for her eggs; it is not illegal, however, for a woman to sell her eggs. That is, in Canada the buying is illegal; the selling is not.

Anthony Housefather, Liberal member of Parliament for Mount Royal, wants to change this. He wants to remove the prohibition on payment so as to facilitate the introduction of a commercial market in human reproduction. A commercial market would benefit fertility doctors, lawyers and brokers by increasing their profits. It would also benefit some intended parents who cannot access women’s bodies without payment.

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Canada, surrogacy compensation, Surrogate Mother

Canadian parents want to do more for the surrogates carrying their babies

Source Global News

A private member’s bill has been tabled, with the goal of decriminalizing the act of paying surrogates in Canada. The legal patchwork surrounding the issue is grey. Abigail Bimman explains how the system works now, and why there’s opposition to the change.

With beaming smiles and giddy excitement, Mike Black and Travis Wood show off an ultrasound photo of their nine-week-old, unborn baby.

“I’ve been dreaming every night it’s a baby boy,” Black told Global New earlier this week.

Getting the photo required a 4,000-kilometre trip from Slave Lake, Alta., to Ottawa, where the couple’s surrogate lives and was getting an ultrasound. It’s an experience Black describes as “life-changing.”

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Canada, Surrogacy Law

Canada – Private member’s bill would allow payment to surrogates, sperm and egg donors

Source CTV News

A new private member’s bill aims to remove the prospect of criminal charges for those who pay for and receive donated sperm and eggs, as well as surrogacy services.

Anthony Housefather, a Liberal MP representing the Montreal riding of Mount Royal, tabled the bill Tuesday, saying “criminalization is meant to eradicate societal evils. The desire to have a child or to help someone have a child is not evil.”

He said the criminal law should be changed and it should be left up to the provinces to regulate assisted human reproduction services. Provinces could choose to continue to prohibit compensation beyond expenses, set a cap on payouts, or leave it up to the free market, he said

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Australia, Canada, intended parents, Surrogate Mother

Canada – Dream comes true for Australian parents with Canadian surrogate

Source The Star

During the Star’s Made in Canada series, which looks at this country’s booming international surrogacy industry, the Crabbs and their Canadian surrogate, Paula Capa, a teacher in Kitchener, struggled to become parents.

“Obviously we’ve been waiting forever for this,” David says. “And now we’ve got one beautiful little angel sent from heaven.”

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Canada, surrogacy compensation

Canada – Bill to decriminalize payments for surrogacy, egg and sperm donors to be tabled next week

Source Global News

Details on how a Liberal MP wants the government to decriminalize payments for surrogacy and human reproductive material are set to be unveiled next week.

According to a listing posted on the House of Commons notice paper, Montreal MP Anthony Housefather will table An Act to amend the Assisted Human Reproduction Act on May 29 to try to decriminalize both the paying of surrogates in Canada as well as the ban on paying for sperm and egg donations.

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Canada, Doctor using own sperm

Canada – Barwin’s babies: The remarkable story of a disgraced Ottawa fertility doctor and those who say they are his children

Source Ottawa Citizen

Kat Palmer always knew she was a Barwin baby.

It was a matter of pride in her family that Dr. Norman Barwin, Ottawa’s renowned fertility doctor and baby whisperer, had helped her parents conceive after years of trying.

As members of Ottawa’s tight-knit Jewish community, they sometimes ran into the doctor at events while she was growing up.

“My parents were so grateful to this man. My dad would bring me over and say: ‘We are so thankful to him because he gave us you.’”

Those words hang in the air as Palmer says them today. They have new meaning now.

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Canada, Doctor using own sperm

Canada – Editorial: A lawsuit over sperm

Source Ottawa Citizen

Imagine finding out that your father isn’t really your biological parent. That’s the reality more than two dozen people have struggled with because of alleged mismatched sperm donations at the Ottawa fertility clinic once run by Dr. Norman Barwin.

The parents of these people went to Barwin for treatments to help them conceive using the male partner’s sperm. Instead, Barwin himself is thought to have provided the sperm that led to 11 pregnancies – without the couples in question knowing this. In another 16 cases, the family can’t identify the sperm donor at all.

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Canada, Surrogacy, Surrogate Mother

Canada – Surrogacies on the rise two decades after trailblazer Selina Robinson carried baby for friend

Source Vancouver Sun

When Selina Robinson agreed in 1999 to carry a friend’s baby, doctors did not do surrogacies in B.C. so she travelled to Calgary to have the embryos implanted. Today, surrogacies are far more common, thanks to an increase in demand from same-sex couples and infertile women. As a result, a debate is raging about whether Canada should change its laws to allow surrogates, as well as egg and sperm donors, to be paid, as they are in the U.S.

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