Assisted Reproduction and Parentage
There are many people who use assisted reproduction: LGBT+ couples who want to have children, heterosexual couples who are experiencing fertility difficulties, polyamorous families and single people who want to start a family. Assisted reproduction includes donor insemination (at home or in a clinic), in vitro fertilization (IVF), use of donor sperm, egg and embryos, and surrogacy.
Families who conceive children with sexual intercourse may also have questions or goals when it comes to who will be the parents of their children.
It is very important to get advice before a child is conceived. Sometimes, that’s just not what happened and families need advice about their options.
I help clients with:
- Sperm, egg and embryo donation agreements for known donors
- Multi-parent agreements (for example, the donor will also be a parent)
- Surrogacy Agreements
- Advising people about legal parentage in BC, including poly families
- Estate planning advice for clients who have frozen sperm, eggs or embryos at clinics
- Independent legal advice on fertility agreements written by other lawyers
BC’s new Family Law Act comes a long way to clearing up the questions about who is a parent when assisted reproduction, meaning any form of conception other than sexual intercourse, is used. There is a lot more room than there used to be for people to choose the shape of their own family with assisted reproduction. However, there are still significant challenges for some families to have their family form fully recognized, especially if their child is conceived through sexual intercourse.
Relative and Adult Adoption
Sometimes, a person wants to adopt a child who is their relative. For example, this may be a step-parent if the biological parent is not in the child’s life, or another relative such as an aunt or uncle if the parents have died. Sometimes the “child” being adopted is an adult who lived as a child or youth with the person who wants to adopt them.
BC’s Adoption Act has special rules for relative adoption. I help clients with relative adoption applications, and also provide independent legal advice for birth parents.