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OVUM AND SPERM DONOR CONTRACTS IN ONTARIO
Sperm and egg donation are not illegal in Canada, but do not reach out for cups and turkey basters quite yet. In Canada, the exchange of reproductive genetic materials is strictly regulated by the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, and before you go window-shopping through the genetic bazaar, consult with a knowledgeable family lawyer, as you may face draconian penalties if you run afoul of these rules. The law does not prevent someone from donating his or her genetic material for altruistic purposes. Reimbursement of expenses incurred in the course of the donation is also permitted, but section 7 of the Act prohibits the selling or buying of gametes from a sperm donor or an ovum donor or an embryo donor.
If you are an Intended Parent, Egg Donor, Sperm Donor, please give us a call to protect yourself and to ensure that your assisted human reproduction arrangement does not come with unforeseen consequences. Having an agreement that clearly states the intentions and legal positions of all the parties is an essential element of building a family.
In most cases, the donor will agree to remain anonymous and the parties’ names are kept confidential. If the Intended Parents and/or donor wish to have some kind of future contact, the Agreement should clearly outline the terms of such contact, in the best interest of the child or children.
A sperm or egg donor agreement serves to define all parties’ expectations, roles and legal entitlements in this process, along with medical disclosures, expected level of contact etc. The agreements usually contain a waiver by a sperm of an ovum donor, stating that he or she does not intend to parent any child born of their genetic material and irrevocably relinquishes any and all rights, responsibilities and claims with respect to a child/children born as a result of such donation. Conversely, a donor is released from all rights and responsibilities related to the child, including custody, child support and estate obligations.
In order to ensure formal compliance with the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, sperm and ova donation contracts in Canada should clearly state that a donor is making a gift of his or her genetic material and is acting out of purely altruistic motivations.
The law relating to the enforceability of sperm and ova donation agreements remains unsettled and changing in Ontario and the intended parents, as well as the donor must understand that these contracts carry with them a level of uncertainty. Having a skilled sperm and donor contract lawyer draft your agreement is an essential step in this process.