Most clinics in both Canada and the United States require a pre-conception surrogacy contract or agreement to be entered into before the embryo transfer, even if the surrogate is a friend or family member. A surrogacy contract sets out everybody’s rights and obligations before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and during the period after the child’s birth.
Furthermore, when the child is born, the surrogacy contract will become part of your application for a Declaration of Parentage. The judge will want to see the agreement as confirmation that everybody intended you would be the child’s parents and not the surrogate.
Ontario, and British Columbia are the most surrogacy friendly jurisdictions. Quebec should be avoided at all costs because it has legislation that deems surrogacy agreements to be null and void.
It is a good idea to have an Egg Donor contract or agreement to clearly establish, in advance, that the donor gives up all rights to the eggs and has no intention of becoming involved as the child’s parent after birth. Furthermore, an Egg Donor contract can be helpful in defining the type of involvment you may or may not want the child to have with the donor after the birth takes place.
Some agencies and some clinics will require you to have an egg donor contract in place prior to the egg retrieval process.
The purpose of a Sperm Donor contract or agreement is to establish in advance, that the donor has no intention of becoming involved as the child’s parent after birth, and expects to have no legal rights, responsibilities or financial obligations regarding that child. If the donor is known, you may wish that he remains involved in the child’s life in a non-parental role like an uncle or a godfather. It is important that the future expectations of both the donor and the intended parents are adequately reflected in the Sperm Donor contract. Each Sperm Donor contract should be custom-tailored to your specific needs and circumstances, as well as to the laws within which the child will be born.
Generally speaking, within Canada, the surrogate is presumed to be the child’s mother because she is the one who gives birth, and if she has a male spouse, he is presumed to be the father. So, you’ll need to legally overturn those presumptions by applying for a Declaration of Parentage from the courts.
After the child is born, DNA evidence is collected to prove that he or she has no genetic link to the surrogate. This evidence is presented to a judge, along with copies of any surrogate or donor contracts to prove that you were always intended to be the child’s parents.
As soon you receive your Declaration of Parentage, you can take this court order to the Registrar General in the province in which the child is born and obtain a birth certificate with your names on it. Then you can also apply for the child’s passport.
The main goal of fertility coaching is to help you evalutate your options for becoming intended parents and assess your best choices, including discussing the pros and cons of doing this in Canada, the United States, or internationally. We can help you understand the differences between the various surrogacy agencies operating in Canada, evaluate which clinics would be the best to facilitate the process for you, and suggest the best options for finding egg donors either directly or through a Canadian or American egg donor agency.