LGBTQ Family Building through ARTs
The issues facing the LGBTQ community when dealing with assisted reproductive technologies are unique. Fertility Law Canada is proud that about half of our clients identify as LGBTQ. It is our pleasure to help you in this exciting time in your life!
For the fathers who choose to use gestational surrogacy to build their family, they will need to enlist the help of both an egg donor and a gestational carrier (a surrogate who does not have a genetic connection to the fetus she is carrying). Both an egg donor agreement and a surrogacy agreement should be prepared. Once the baby is born, the fathers will need to bring an application for a declaration of parentage. We can assist with this journey from start to finish.
Lesbian Moms or Two Mom Families
For the lesbian mothers or two mom families who choose to use ARTs to build their family, they may need to consider whether they will be using sperm from a sperm bank or a known sperm donor. If a known donor is used, it is imperative that a known sperm donation agreement be entered into by all parties, and that the donor obtain independent legal advice. Some mothers choose to self-inseminate, while others use IUI or IVF. Once the baby is born, if a known donor is used, it will be necessary to take further legal steps to ensure legal parentage of the child. Further, regardless of whether known or anonymously donated sperm is used, the carrying mother is at a legal advantage over the non-carrying mother, as the carrying mother automatically is the legal parent of the child while her partner, or even wife, is not. Equal legal parentage for both mothers regardless of the source of the semen, or legal parentage for known sperm donation can be achieved through a second parent adoption process or a declaration of parentage process. There are pros and cons to each process that ought to be considered. We can work with you through this family building journey from start to finish, helping you to take the necessary steps to secure the legal parentage of your child.
Co-Maternity Agreements or Reciprocal IVF Agreements
More and more often we are seeing same-sex women request a Co-Maternity Agreement, otherwise known as a Reciprocal IVF Agreement. This agreement is drafted between two women who intend to parent a child together. The eggs, or ova, of one partner are retrieved and fertilized through IVF and then transferred to the uterus of the other woman, and the child is carried on behalf of both mothers. This is not a surrogacy, an egg donation or egg sharing process and should not be referred to as such. Instead, a co-maternity or reciprocal IVF arrangement is entered into between the parties in order to clarify the process, and to show the intention that the baby is being carried on behalf of both mothers or parents.