October 22, 2021
There is significant confusion about the legality of surrogacy in Quebec. Quebec’s Civil Code currently states that surrogacy agreements are not legally binding – meaning that they can be used as evidence of what the parties promised to each other, but not enforced in the same way as other contracts in Quebec.
Exciting changes may be happening in Quebec, however: On October 20, 2021, Quebec announced a new Bill that, if passed, would dramatically change surrogacy in Quebec, and bring certainty to surrogacies in that Province.
Key Points Proposed Bill 2 in Quebec
The key points of the proposed Bill 2 are as follows:
- A surrogate would need to be 21 years old to enter into a Surrogacy Contract;
- A Surrogacy Contract must be in place before an embryo is transferred to a surrogate;
- The surrogate would have to consent to waive any rights of parentage when the child is born;
- The Intended Parents would have responsibility for the child (including financial support obligations) from the moment the Surrogacy Contract is in place;
- Any child born through surrogacy will have the right to know the circumstances of their birth;
- As is already set out in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, a surrogate cannot be compensated for acting as a surrogacy, but is entitled to her reimbursable expenses throughout the surrogacy; and
- Despite the Surrogacy Contract, the surrogate would be able to make decisions about the surrogacy up to the time when she waives her parental rights. This means that she could choose to have an abortion, or keep the child herself, regardless of the Intended Parents’ wishes. While this may concern Intended Parents, those who work in surrogacy and fertility know that surrogates do not intended to keep the children they carry, and have no desire to abort against Intended Parents wishes.
Taken together, Bill 2 would bring Quebec in line with most other Provinces in Canada, which is wonderful news for Intended Parents, Surrogates, and children born through surrogacy.
Canadian Surrogacy Lawyers
Our surrogacy and fertility lawyers are some of the most experienced in Canada. If you have any questions about these proposed changes, and how it will impact your surrogacy journey, please contact our Surrogacy and Fertility lawyers. For more information, please visit our detailed surrogacy and fertility law website at canadafertility.law.