Christina Park is a reproductive attorney and founder of the Law Offices of Christina Park in Seattle, WA. She graduated from Yale Law School. Christina assists intended parents, egg donors, embryo donors, and surrogates and is proud to help build families.
Here in Seattle, WA it's not uncommon for fertility clinics to work with intended parents from Vancouver, BC. In my legal practice, I have worked with Canadian clients who travel to Washington State for egg donation / in vitro fertilization procedures. In this article, I will provide an overview of Canadian laws on egg donation, surrogacy, and embryo donation.
Is egg donation legal in Canada?
Yes. Egg donation is legal in Canada, but it is illegal to purchase eggs from a donor (or anyone acting on the donor's behalf). Compensation is prohibited, but the intended parents can legally reimburse the egg donor for egg donation expenses.
Is surrogacy legal in Canada?
Yes, but with significant restrictions. In Canada, commercial surrogacy (which involves payment to the woman for serving as a surrogate) is illegal. However, altruistic surrogacy without compensation is allowed. The intended parents can reimburse the surrogate for her reasonable pregnancy expenses.
What else should I know about surrogacy in Canada?
In Canada, it is illegal to:
- Advertise that the intended parents will pay the woman for acting as a surrogate.
- Pay someone for arranging the services of a surrogate mother.
- If there is reason to believe that a woman is under age 21, it is illegal to counsel her to become a surrogate mother.
Do surrogacy laws vary among provinces?
Yes. Canada has federal laws governing surrogacy, but each province has its own set of rules regarding what happens after the child's birth. Some provinces are considered more surrogacy-friendly than others -- for example, Ontario and British Columbia. On the other hand, Quebec is unfavorable to surrogacy and often avoided by intended parents for this reason.
Is embryo donation legal in Canada?
Similar to egg donation and surrogacy, embryo donation is legal in Canada. However, the embryo cannot be purchased or sold for compensation, according to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.
*Disclaimer: Christina Park is licensed to practice law in Washington State. This blog post is for educational purposes only. Please contact a qualified Canadian lawyer for advice on Canadian legal issues.