December 4, 2022

Question marks on surrogacy in Canada

A handful of widely-publicised surrogacy cases in Canada has sparked worry about the commercialisation of baby-making.

A handful of widely-publicised surrogacy cases in Canada has sparked worry about the commercialisation of baby-making. “I’m not naïve,” said Larry Kahn, a British Columbia family law specialist in adoptive and reproduction issues. “Do I think there is a brown paper bag being delivered or a secret handful of cash? Absolutely.”

As reported recently in BioEdge, a New Brunswick woman, Cathleen Hachey, 20, acted as surrogate for a British couple who split up 27 weeks into the pregnancy and told her by text message that they did not want the baby. This month, a Saskatchewan judge ruled that another surrogate who gave birth to a baby for a gay couple was not its “mother” – so that the child’s birth certificate would reflect the arrangement between the three parties.

The case shows proliferating distinctions between “parents”, “mothers”, and further distinctions such as “biological mother”, “adoptive mother” – and further yet, “gestational carrier”, “egg donor” and the like. The gay couple’s lawyer, Rich Gabruch, argued that legislators needed to keep up with the changes in family arrangements.

In another case from last year, a British Columbia couple wanted their surrogate to have an abortion after they discovered the child had Down syndrome – but the surrogate objected. The surrogate eventually gave in and had the abortion because of her family obligations.

A National Post article commented:

“These stories, as individual as they are, show all is not perfect with the surrogacy status quo despite the more common experience, stories populated with happy couples raising children that are genetically related to one or both of them despite their inability to do so naturally.” ~ National Post, Sep 16; Sep 13

Question marks on surrogacy in Canada
Jared Yee
Canada
surrogacy