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Fertility & Surrogacy Law in Canada: FAQ

Reproductive law in Canada can be complex and confusing. If you are entering into an arrangement with a third party to help build your family, it is crucial that you consult with a fertility lawyer to ensure you are following requirements within the law.


Learn more about surrogacy and fertility law in Canada below.


Is surrogacy legal in Canada?

Surrogacy is legal in Canada and is governed by the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which is federal legislation.


Surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation are also referenced in the Family Law Act of Alberta.



How do we start the process?

The first issues intended parents need to address are:

  1. Choosing a fertility clinic
  2. Finding a surrogate
  3. Choosing an egg or sperm donor (or both)


There are a number of Canadian agencies that can help with choosing a surrogate and/or donor. Once you have chosen an agency and surrogate, you will need a surrogacy agreement—required by all Canadian clinics.


If you have a friend or family member who is prepared to be a surrogate for you, you won’t necessarily need to involve an agency.


Is it legal to pay a surrogate?

In Canada, surrogacy is legal but providing compensation for the surrogate is prohibited. Intended parents are, however, allowed to reimburse a surrogate for reasonable expenses that take place directly as a result of the surrogacy.


How does the baby legally become mine? 

The baby legally becomes yours through either:

  • Parentage application or
  • Adoption.


The Parentage Application is less the cumbersome and faster process to go through.



How does egg donation work in Canada?

While egg donation is legal in Canada, it is Illegal to purchase ova from a donor or a person acting on behalf of a donor.


There are a number of agencies in Canada that assist in both anonymous and known egg donations. You may also be able to obtain donated ova through a fertility clinic.


It is important to have an egg donation agreement in place to ensure you are acting within your legal requirements of Canadian law.



How does sperm donation work in Canada?

Sperm donation is legal in Canada but it is illegal to purchase sperm from a donor or a person acting on behalf of a donor.


There are other restrictions involving sperm donation as well, which are important to know.


Parties should also have a sperm donation agreement in place to ensure you are acting within your legal requirements of Canadian law.



Who can use a surrogate to build a family?

There are many different types of families building the their own families through assisted human reproduction including:

  • Heterosexual couples
  • LGBTQ couples
  • Single parents


Have more questions? Moe Hannah can help you understand your responsibilities and rights when it comes to fertility and surrogacy law in Alberta.


Contact us to learn more>>



Alex MacNab is a lawyer with expertise in third party reproductive law in Canada. He has helped many intended parents, surrogates, egg and sperm donors navigate the legal process quickly, efficiently and with a caring approach.
Alex brings both personal and professional experience as a dad and lawyer who is personally involved in the surrogacy process to help build his family.
Contact Alex today »