Canada, Surrogacy

Quebec to regulate surrogate pregnancies as part of major update to family law

Source CTV News

MONTREAL — Quebec is ready to recognize and regulate the use of surrogate pregnancies in a new bill that would come with significant updates to the province’s family law.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette introduced on Thursday Bill 2 to reform family law to adjust it to new social realities.

Currently, in Quebec, contracts signed between a surrogate mother and the intended parents have no legal value under the Civil Code.

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Canada, sister surrogate mother, Surrogacy

Canada – ‘Only feeling love’: How a Nova Scotia woman became a mom thanks to sister’s surrogacy’Only feeling love’: How a Nova Scotia woman became a mom thanks to sister’s surrogacy

Source Saltwire

Sylvia Berrey and her late husband, Wallace, are pictured with their daughter, Lily, and son, Will, shortly after Will’s birth. Berrey’s sister carried Will through a surrogate pregnancy. – Contributed

Sylvia Berrey dreamed of being a mother, but for her, getting there was a harder journey than most women travel.

Berrey struggled with infertility, and medications did not work for her.

The thought of not being able to have her own children nearly broke the Kentville, N.S. woman. It led to suicidal thoughts, Berrey says.

“I felt like I failed my husband. I felt like I failed myself,” she says of that dark period in her life.

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Canada, Surrogacy

Canada – Saskatchewan women sharing surrogacy story to inspire others to consider the option 

Source CBC.CA

Amber Peters (left) and Marie Schultz became quick friends after becoming co-workers. After Schutz struggled with infertility for seven years, Peters offered to become a surrogate so Schultz could have a child. (Submitted by Marie Schultz)

Two Regina women are sharing their surrogacy story in hopes other struggling couples will consider the option. 

Amber Peters and Marie Schultz met at work in 2019 while Schultz was in the middle of fertility treatments. Schultz and her husband, Taylor, had been trying since 2013 to conceive without any luck. Schultz started sharing her struggles with her new friend. 

“After just a few weeks of getting to know each other, like we really clicked,” Schultz said. “She just kind of asked like ‘Have you ever thought about surrogacy? Could you think about not having that pregnant experience?’ But I was like honestly … I just want a child.” 

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Canada, Surrogacy

Why a lack of oversight of surrogacy in Canada leaves some parents feeling taken advantage of

Source CBC

Cuddling a child of her own was something cancer survivor Anna Camille Tucci feared might never be possible.

In 2017, the Toronto woman had a full hysterectomy as part of treatment for ovarian cancer — but not before doctors harvested her eggs and created embryos with her husband’s sperm.

“Since I can remember, I wanted kids….That’s just something that was in my heart since I was tiny,” she said. “Even the thought of not being able to carry [a baby] — that was really difficult.”

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Canada, Surrogacy, UK

This English same-sex couple fathered twins who are half-siblings — and a Canadian surrogate helped them Social Sharing

Source CBC

With two kids under two, the Berney-Edwards household in southeast England is a busy one. There are toddlers running all over the place. One pokes his dad in the eye and laughs before accidentally hitting his sister with a toy vacuum cleaner, causing her to wail. It can be a bit chaotic.  

But Graeme and Simon Berney-Edwards wouldn’t have it any other way. As gay men, there was a time when they thought they could never have any of that.

Now, however, they have their twins, the result of an arrangement involving a Canadian surrogate and Canadian surrogacy laws they feel are more progressive than those on the books in the United Kingdom.

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Canada, Surrogacy

Surrogacy and IVF in Canada: What you need to know

Source Toronto City News

A Toronto man’s journey to fatherhood via surrogacy in Kenya has drawn attention to the diverse ways in which people may choose to have children.

However it was also a reminder that the rules and costs around assisted reproduction may not be well known.

Here’s a look at the ins and outs of surrogacy and in vitro fertilization in Canada.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

In Canada, IVF treatments cost about $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle on average. In some cases, the cost of fertility drugs and other tests and consultations can push that cost up to around $20,000.

Four provinces currently provide financial assistance for in vitro fertilization.

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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.

Egg Donor, LGBTQ, Sperm Donor

Canada – Paying Sperm And Egg Donors Will Help LGBTQ Couples Build Families

Source Huffington Post

The Canadian government is considering amendments to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA) that will benefit the LGBTQ community.

On May 29, Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather introduced a private members bill to the House of Commons. He is seeking decriminalization of surrogacy services and consideration of reasonable compensation for egg and sperm donation in Canada.

It’s currently illegal to pay, offer to pay or advertise payment for sperm, eggs, or surrogacy services. Under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of 2004, any compensation beyond reasonable expenditures is a criminal offence punishable by 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. What constitutes a legitimate expense has yet to be clearly defined by the government, leading to criticism of the Act by many doctors and legal experts.

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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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