Many families are created through the use of assisted reproduction, surrogacy or donors (sperm and egg). This includes queer and trans people, single parents, and heterosexual couples requiring fertility assistance. We recognize and appreciate the incredible work and commitment involved when creating a family through fertility assistance and we are here to support you on your journey to parenthood.
Reproduction agreement should be made preconception. To remain valid, no party can withdraw from the agreement before conception occurs. These agreements are especially important when there are multiple people involved in the creation of the child including the intended parent(s), sperm, egg, or embryo donor(s), and/ or surrogates. The role of a spouse of a person involved in the reproduction agreement must also be considered before conception.
Reproduction agreements make the intentions of each party clear on topics such as:
- Who the legal parent(s) and guardians of the child will be
- Where the child live and with whom
- Who will have a role in the child’s life and how will that be structured
- Who will pay for the child’s care and expenses
- What will happen if one of the parties dies or if the intended parents of the child separate or divorce
Both the BC Family Law Act and the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act govern the rights and responsibilities of individuals using assisted reproduction technology to conceive a child. A variety of technologies can be used to support conception including services offered in a fertility clinic and in home insemination.
Sperm and Egg Donor Agreements
Sperm donation and egg donation are commonly used in assisted reproduction. In this situation, the donors may be known or they may be unknown (anonymous) such as where the donor is found through a sperm bank or an egg bank.
By law, donors are not presumed to be parents unless there is an agreement prior to conception that states otherwise. In all cases, however, where donors are used it is advisable and it is in everyone’s best interest to have a preconception reproduction agreement.
Surrogates are commonly used in assisted reproduction. Traditional surrogates use their own egg along with either donor sperm or the sperm of an intended parent to conceive a child. Gestational surrogates carry and birth a child conceived using donor embryos or embryos created from sperm or eggs that come from the donors or the intended parents.
In all surrogacy arrangements, it is important that preconception agreements set out who the intended parent(s) of the child are, whether the surrogate will be a parent as well or if the surrogate will be involved in the child’s life, and that the surrogate will give the child to the intended parents after birth.