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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Canadian Law Will Soon Recognize Surrogacy Contracts

Every child has a right. However, this code covers children who were born with at least one parent recognizing the birth. How about children born by surrogate mothers? This is the concern expressed by lawyer Alain Roy, head of the committee lobbying for surrogacy law in Quebec, Canada.

Surrogacy or the carrying of pregnancy for intended parents is legal in Canada. There are two types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional.

Gestational surrogacy refers to a pregnancy through IVF or the transferring of the embryo by biological parents to the womb of the surrogate mother. Traditional surrogacy refers to natural or artificial impregnation of the surrogate resulting to an offspring with genetic relations to the surrogate.

Partners sought for surrogacy when pregnancy is difficult or medically impossible.

While surrogacy is legal, the act of paying the surrogate mother is not yet legalized. Quebec Civil Code Article 541 states: “Any agreement whereby a woman undertakes to procreate or carry a child for another person is absolutely null.”

Roy argued about the responsibilities entailed in such an undertaking as surrogacy. Who would be responsible for the child? What happens when the child is born with defect? Who would take care of the child? He cited a case in point: a baby born with Down Syndrome. “If we don’t recognize the contract, that means that the surrogate mother will bring a baby with [Down Syndrome] into the world, and the intended parents are not responsible,” Roy said.

He wanted to establish a legal framework to support social realities that continue to reshape and redefine the way we look at relationships and family ties.

The committee is hoping to present their case to Canada’s Supreme Court this spring.


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