If you’re one of the many couples in Canada exploring paying a surrogate to have a child – there could be some changes to Canadian Law that aims to decriminalize this process.
Montreal MP, Anthony Housefather introduced a private members bill on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, to decriminalize payment for surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation. Currently, surrogates and donors can only be compensated for their receiptable, out of pocket expenses. Anyone who violates this can spend anywhere from four to ten years in jail or be fined between $250,000.00 and $500,000.00. Anthony Housefather’s bill proposes that these criminal sanctions be removed from the Assisted Reproduction Act and allow the provinces to come up with their own legislation and regulations.
Housefather points out that a great deal of the eggs and sperm used in Canada comes from the United States where donors are able to be paid, but health regulations in the United States are not as stringent as Canada. Therefore, Canadian same-sex or infertile couples end up paying for sperm and eggs but with less control over how the donations are regulated.
Some have criticized Housefather’s proposal as opening the door to exploitation. However, Housefather does have the backing of the Liberal Party’s Women’s Caucus.
For more information on the changes to the Assisted Reproduction Act, speak with one of our Family Law lawyers.