Lesbian women (or single women, regardless of their sexual orientation) are perhaps the most vulnerable parents in Ontario, especially those who choose to use a known sperm donor. There are so many good reasons to use an altruistic, known sperm donor. Where a heterosexual couple uses the help of a known sperm donor to conceive, the mother is legally protected and the father has the benefit of a presumption of paternity by virtue of his relationship to the mother. However, where a lesbian couple uses a known sperm donor, the carrying mother is legally the mother, but the non-carrying mother has no presumption of parentage and in fact cannot legally be registered on a birth certificate as a parent without taking further legal steps. And, the sperm donor, by virtue of his genetic connection to the child, may be legally the father of the child (unless further steps are taken to sever any legal rights or obligations the donor may have. In contrast, no such further steps are generally necessary in a heterosexual family using the known sperm donation).
If Ontario wants to make the use of altruistic known donors an attractive option, and there are many policy reasons that it ought to, then it needs to change its legislation to clarify that a donor has no rights or obligations to a child only by virtue of a genetic connection and to allow both moms - carrying and non-carrying - to be registered as the child's parents from birth. Although Ontario had it right in 2003, we are failing in 2015 - let's get back at the forefront of supporting the LGBT community.