Fertility Law & Adoption

BC court recognizes third legal parent in polyamorous family

By Monique Shebbeare In British Columbia Birth Registration No. 2018-XX-XX5815, 2021 BCSC 767 – a case in which I was honoured to be one of the three lawyers each representing one of the parents involved – the court granted a parentage declaration to the third parent in a polyamorous family where only two parents were […]

Ontario court finds sperm donor through intercourse is not a parent

In BC, there is a bright line on parentage between children conceived through sexual intercourse and those conceived through assisted reproduction (anything other than sexual intercourse, for example donor insemination, IVF). In BC, the Family Law Act says if a child is conceived through assisted reproduction, a donor is not a legal parent unless they […]

Can a spouse use stored sperm, eggs or embryos after their partner dies?

Many couples assume that if they have stored sperm, ova (eggs) or embryos at a fertility clinic, if one of them died, the other could automatically use those to conceive a child. Is that true? No – Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act, and the Assisted Human Reproduction (Section 8 Consent) Regulations have very specific requirements […]

What surrogates and parents can talk through before the lawyer visit

Most intended parents and surrogates talk through a lot of issues before they make the decision to embark on the surrogacy process together, and long before either goes to a lawyer about drawing up the Surrogacy Agreement. In some ways, a Surrogacy Agreement is a communication tool. Putting everyone’s intentions in black and white, in […]

Donors and BC’s Family Law Act

BC’s Family Law Act defines who legal parents are when a sperm donor, egg donor or embryo donor is used. BC’s new Family Law Act sets rules about parentage when children are conceived using assisted reproduction (any form of conception other than sexual intercourse). The Act sets out three important guidelines for determining legal parentage […]