Members of the LGBTQ community can choose from many options in order to build their families.
Through the hard work of a few individuals, surrogacy for gay couples in Ontario has become ordinary and commonplace. Although Sherry Levitan’s practice statistics may not accurately reflect gay surrogacy in Canada, in a typical year over 40% of her surrogacy clients are gay men, both couples and singles.
Lesbian couples often turn to known sperm donation in order to conceive their children. Given how many aspects of a relationship with a known donor can change, all parental rights should be discussed and documented in advance. At the very least, any intended parent working with a known sperm donor should consult with a lawyer in order to learn how to maximize the chances that the parties’ intention with respect to parental rights becomes reality.
“Inter-spousal donations” or “Reciprocal IVF” are less common, but sometimes one of the intended moms will carry a child who is genetically linked to her partner. IVF is necessary to achieve this result. In the early days, some IVF clinics treated the situation as an ovum donation or as a surrogacy, but both approaches are inappropriate. If you are contemplating this procedure, ensure that the medical consents are clear and accurate. In the event of a breakdown of the relationship and a custody dispute, inappropriate medical consents can later be used in court as evidence of intention. Insist on accurate documents.
In Ontario, thanks to the Liberal government headed by Kathleen Wynne, the post-birth process is exactly the same for all intended parents but best to discuss the process and your legal rights as part of your information gathering process.