Assisted reproduction is vital in the benefits it can provide to families that may otherwise not be physically able to have children. However, it also presents a wide variety of unique legal considerations that must be addressed. This is particularly true when individuals outside of the family are involved in the process, through surrogacy, or the donation of reproductive material including sperm, eggs, and embryos. Further, the concept of ‘family’ has evolved considerably in recent years, and with it, the idea of parentage. Some family arrangements may include more than two parents, which the law does not currently allow for in Alberta. However, legal rights can be created through customized agreements or court-ordered contact arrangements.
Many families don’t take the time to properly consider the legal aspects of their reproduction or parenting arrangement until a dispute arises, which can create much undue uncertainty and stress for everyone involved. If you are considering a non-traditional parenting arrangement or having a child through assisted reproduction, it’s important to consult with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible, preferably before any concrete steps have been taken towards conception if possible.
At Mincher Koeman in Calgary, we understand that families come in all forms. Our team of family lawyers works with clients entering into a wide variety of reproduction and parenting arrangements to ensure they are fully informed of their rights, and their obligations. We protect our clients’ interests through the creation of comprehensive agreements custom-tailored to their circumstances.
Reproductive concerns are not limited to the LGBTQIA2S+ community, but they are a factor for many community members who are looking to become parents. At Mincher Koeman, we are dedicated to providing a welcoming and accessible law firm with a thorough understanding of the unique parenting issues faced by LGBTQIA2S+ clients. Associate Jay Moch has dedicated his career to addressing legal issues faced by members of the community in Alberta. When he was a law student at the University of Calgary, Jay founded the Calgary Pro Bono Students Canada Trans ID clinic, aimed at assigning gender diverse people with amending and obtaining identification that reflected their affirmed gender identity.
Jay’s practice at Mincher Koeman is dedicated to providing the firm’s LGBTQIA2S+ clientele with comprehensive services related to parenting and reproductive contracts, as well as other family issues, including:
Our firm is passionate about providing our LGBTQIA2S+ clients with the highest level of service in an environment that welcomes and understands their diverse needs.
Mincher Koeman assists individuals and families of all types with their unique parenting and reproductive needs. We work with clients considering a variety of arrangements to ensure they are aware of the various legal issues that could present themselves over time, and to protect their interests, and those of their children. Whether you are considering a surrogate or using donated materials to help you bring your child into the world, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the issues you’ll need to address in your legal agreement.
Issues relating to surrogacy and the donation of reproductive materials are governed by the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act and by Alberta’s Family Law Act. It is important to be aware of the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of all parties involved before entering into a reproductive arrangement to avoid legal penalties or costly litigation in the future.
Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproduction in which a person carries and gives birth to a child with the intention of relinquishing the child to the intended parent(s). In most cases, the reproductive material of at least one of the intended parents will have been used for conception.
In many cases, people opt to use traditional surrogacy, where the genetic material of one of the intended parents is used, along with the genetic material of the surrogate, to conceive a child. This creates a more efficient and less costly process than if the embryo is created separately and then implanted into the surrogate (a process known as gestational surrogacy).
Under the federal legislation, surrogates cannot be paid for their services, however, the intended parents can reimburse surrogates for legitimate expenses associated with the pregnancy, such as:
To avoid penalties for non-compliance with the law, as well as civil claims between the various parties involved in a surrogacy, it is vitally important to enter into a comprehensive agreement prior to conception when possible.
Many people conceive a child through the use of donated reproductive material including eggs, sperm, or embryos. The donor may be a known entity, such as a family member or friend, or they may be anonymous if the material is obtained from a fertility clinic.
As with surrogacy, it is not legal to pay donors for reproductive materials in Canada. However, the donor’s reasonable expenses associated with the donation may be reimbursed, including:
The legal implications of a donor arrangement will vary depending on the unique circumstances of your plan. We will advise you of all factors to consider in advance and design a comprehensive agreement setting out each party’s rights and obligations in order to protect your interests.
Bringing a child is a joyous experience that should be free of stressful legal disputes. At Mincher Koeman, our family law lawyers protect the rights of clients expanding their family through various assisted reproductive processes. We have extensive experience in the drafting and review of custom agreements designed to clarify the expectations of each party involved from the start and avoid future conflict. Please contact our office to make an appointment to discuss your matter with one of our lawyers today by calling us at 403-910-3000 or by contacting us online.
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Calgary, AB T2P 3H6
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Canmore, AB T1W 2A2
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