Assisted Reproduction Law
Also sometimes referred to as ‘Fertility Law’ or ‘Reproductive Technology Law’ this practice area encompasses all the legal aspects of using donors or surrogates to assist in reproduction. This practice area requires specific legal expertise separate and apart from the basic knowledge of a family law practitioner as the legislation in Saskatchewan does not contemplate many issues encountered by Saskatchewan families who require third party assisted reproduction. For example, in Saskatchewan a ‘birth mother’ is deemed to be the mother of an infant and is therefore registered on the birth certificate and with vital statistics as the mother; this leads to a significant legal issue for parents using a gestational carrier where the ‘birth mother’ is neither the genetic mother nor the intended mother.
There are several other examples in this area where the legislative scheme in Saskatchewan has fallen out of date with advances in science and medicine and legal assistance is required to ensure things proceed smoothly. Our office recognizes that when couples reach the point of requiring legal advice to navigate these processes they have already faced many obstacles to becoming parents and we are committed to providing assistance in an efficient and sensitive manner.
Our office, and specifically Sheri Woods, has a specific interest and experience in all aspects of Assisted Reproduction Law having dealt with:
- Surrogacy Agreements (where the surrogate is both the gestational carrier and the egg donor, but not the intended mother);
- Egg Donor Agreements;
- Sperm Donor Agreements;
- Gestational Carrier Agreements (where the surrogate is not a donor but carries the genetic baby of the intended parents);
- Interim Custody Agreements (in the case of surrogates or gestational carriers: governing the legal transfer of custody of the infant from birth until such time as the Declaration of Parentage Order issues); and
- Declarations of Parentage (obtaining a court order to have the intended mother registered on the infant’s birth certificate in place of the surrogate/gestational carrier).
We encourage couples to obtain a full legal consultation early in their assisted reproduction process so they are aware of the legal implications in Saskatchewan of using a donor, surrogate, or gestational carrier. Our office has assisted intended parents and donors with the negotiation and finalization of Agreements, declarations of parentage, and various aspects of LGBT family planning.