On September 29, 2016 the Ontario Government introduced legislation that, if passed says, “Would ensure the legal status of parents as recognized clearly and equitably, whether they are LGBTQ2+ or straight, and whether their children were conceived with or without assistance.”
How The Legislation Protects Parents
The proposed legislation aims to streamline the way that intended parents can be recognized as the legal parents of a child born through assisted reproduction. Currently a court order must be sought. However, under the proposed legislation, if a child is conceived through sperm donation, the birth parent and that birth parent’s partner can automatically be placed on the birth record.
If the child was born through a surrogate, the intended parents can be recognized as the legal parents without a court order if:
- The intended parents entered into a written preconception Surrogacy Agreement with independent legal advice.
- The surrogate provided written consent to give up her parental status both before conception and seven days after the birth of the child.
Post-Mortem Parental Status
It will now be possible to grant a declaration of parental status to a deceased person if a child was conceived after their death. This would enable the child to inherit and seek support from the deceased parent’s estate if the child is born within three years of their deceased parent’s death.
The legislation will also introduce a simplified process allowing for up to four people to be recognized as the parents of a child without a court order.
If you have any questions related to Surrogacy or Fertility Law, contact Family Law lawyer Terry Sheppard.