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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Canada, surrogacy compensation

Lobby wrap: Surrogacy agency wants feds to reverse ban on payments to surrogates

Source iPolitics

The Parliament Hill Peace Tower. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Canadian Surrogacy Community wants Ottawa to decriminalize the act of paying surrogates to carry other people’s babies – and they recently hired a lobbyist to help them achieve that goal.

The surrogacy agency recruited Lisa Jibson, founder and chief administrative officer of Ross Street Agency, to push government officials to repeal section six of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act – which says it’s illegal for an intended parent or couple in Canada to compensate a woman for carrying a baby on their behalf.

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Canada, Doctor using own sperm

Dozens sue Canadian fertility doctor for ‘using wrong sperm’

Source BBC

A Canadian fertility doctor is being sued by dozens of people who claim he used his own or unknown sperm to impregnate their mothers.

In November Dr Norman Barwin was sued after a DNA test said he was the father a former patient’s daughter.
At least 11 others now claim he is their biological father, lawyers say.

The group filed a class-action lawsuit with about 50 offspring of former patients whose DNA does not match their intended biological father.

The claims go as far back as the 1970s, and include patients from at least two fertility clinics in Ottawa, Ontario – Broadview Fertility Clinic and Ottawa General Hospital.

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Canada, Surrogacy Law

Canada – Fertility Advisors Continues Advocacy With Third Day on Parliament Hill

Source Digital Journal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s time for society to study the issue of decriminalizing payment for surrogate mothers and sperm or egg donors. (Radio-Canada)

“I think this is something we need to be thinking about as a society, and when we see the bill I know we will be having a discussion about rights and responsibilities that we share as a society,” Trudeau said. “And we will try to see how we can move forward in a reasonable manner.”

Trudeau was referencing a planned private member’s bill being put forward by Liberal MP Anthony Housefather. The bill, which Housefather plans to table in May, would decriminalize payments for surrogate moms and sperm or egg donors.

Canadians from every demographic and economic group could require a surrogate and/or gamete donor to build their family. Every Canadian should have the right and ability to have a family without fear of legal prosecution. This means that just to give one example, to even send flowers to a surrogate could expose intended parents (IPs) and agency staff to criminal liability and penalties. Expenses meant to cover costs directly related to the pregnancy are a grey area, and currently, any perceived breach could result in the conviction of an indictable offense with a fine of up to $500,000, a jail sentence of up to 10 years, or both.

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Canada, Surrogacy, Surrogacy Law

Trudeau says it’s time for Canada to debate decriminalizing fees for surrogate moms

Source CBC

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s time for society to study the issue of decriminalizing payment for surrogate mothers and sperm or egg donors. (Radio-Canada)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s time for Canadian society to wrestle with the controversial issue of paying women to carry other people’s babies.

Calling paid surrogacy an “extremely important issue” that affects many prospective parents, including same-sex and infertile couples, Trudeau said today he expects the debate will draw extreme opinions and emotions.

The government, he said, wants to listen and show respect for all views to “move forward appropriately.”

“I think this is something we need to be thinking about as a society, and when we see the bill I know we will be having a discussion about rights and responsibilities that we share as a society,” he said. “And we will try to see how we can move forward in a reasonable manner.”

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Canada, intended parents, Surrogacy, Surrogacy Law, Surrogate Mother

Paying surrogates, sperm and egg donors goes against Canadian values

Source The Conversation

A Canadian politician has announced he plans to introduce a private member’s bill to remove the legal prohibitions on payments to surrogate mothers and to sperm and egg donors. (Shutterstock)

In Canada, it’s illegal to pay for the services of a surrogate mother or to purchase human gametes — sperm and eggs. These prohibitions are entrenched in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Some Liberal members of Parliament want to change this.

Anthony Housefather, MP for Mount Royal and chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, recently held a news conference to announce that he plans to introduce a private member’s bill to remove the legal prohibitions on payments.

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Canada, Gestational carrier agreements, intended parents, re-conception parentage agreement, Surrogacy Law, Surrogate Parents

Impact of the All Families are Equal Act, 2016 for Surrogate Births

Source Lexology

The recent All Families Are Equal Act, 2016 (the “Act”) amends various existing pieces of legislation in connection with the goal of establishing new rules related to parentage (see the amendments here). For a general overview of the legislative changes brought about by the Act, please see our bulletin here.

Of importance to hospitals are the amendments to sections 9 to 11 of the Children’s Law Reform Act. Section 9 introduces the concept of a “pre-conception parentage agreement,” which allows potential parents to contractually define their parentage status. Sections 10 and 11 update Ontario laws to provide for surrogacy agreements, with a standard format allowing for up to four legal parents.

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Canada, Commercial Surrogacy, Gestational carrier agreements, intended parents, Surrogacy, Surrogacy Law, Surrogate Mother

Paying a surrogate in Canada is illegal but one Liberal MP wants to change that

Source Global News

Paying a surrogate mother for her services is illegal in Canada but one Liberal MP wants to change that.

When most Canadians picture criminals, a couple trying to have a baby probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

But under Canadian law, that’s exactly what couples who pay a surrogate to carry their child to term are deemed to be, and one Liberal MP wants to change that.

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Canada, Infertility

Canada – Infertility Sucks, But You Can Transcend It. Here’s How

Source: HuffPost

Infertility sucks. If you haven’t lived through it, or experienced it vicariously through a friend, it’s hard to explain why it is soul-crushingly awful.

Before I was thrust into the dark underworld of nightly hormone injections, invasive vaginal ultrasounds and regular blood tests revealing to me just how crappy my eggs are, I was able to brush it off like most people.

“Why is she so upset about her miscarriage? She can just try again. It’s not as if a real baby was in there.” And, “Why would they spend that much money on in vitro fertilization when they can just adopt?”

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Canada, Surrogacy, Surrogate Mother

Canada – Why a patchwork of laws makes surrogacy more challenging in Atlantic Canada

Sources:  CBCNews

Terri Taylor, seen with Freya shortly after her birth, says she did not want to be compensated.

On a wall in Terri Taylor’s home, opposite the window that looks onto the quiet Fredericton cul-de-sac on which generations of her family have grown up, there’s a series of family photos.

Some of them are pictures of her own children, ranging from their teen years to when they were toddlers.

Others feature twin baby girls, the much longed-for children of Iain and Haley, an Australian couple Taylor met through a surrogacy website.

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