Should surrogacy be legally recognized in Quebec?


For the first time this summer, a gay couple in Quebec will become parents by way of a surrogate and the government's in-vitro fertilization program.

But once the baby's born, the couple may find it tough to legally become the baby's parents.

Quebec does not recognize contracts between prospective parents and surrogates, so if the surrogate decides to keep the baby at the end of the pregnancy the couple has no recourse, and the other way around.

The executive director of a group representing gay parents says that's a problem for all parents who choose to go the surrogate route.

“There are much more heterosexual couples that are using surrogacy, than there are gay couples, so I don’t understand why this becomes a gay issue, it shouldn’t be, it’s an issue that affects everybody,” Mona Greenbaum said.

Surrogates can't be paid anywhere in Canada, under federal law, but some other provinces, like Ontario, do legally recognize contracts that protect parents and surrogates.

Greenbaum says because of that many parents go to Ontario to have their child. But when they come back to Quebec, there are still legal hurdles to be dealt with, to become the baby's parents.

“We need to have legislation in Quebec about this, there’s a lot of vagueness,” she said.

“Our bodies, our functions, our bonds with our children are not for sale and this borders on selling a baby, so it’s unacceptable in my view," Dr. Margaret Somerville, the Founding Director of McGill’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law said about changing Quebec's surrogacy legislation.

“I think where we’ve gone wrong is that we’ve put the people that want the child at the centre of the decision making, you don’t hear a mention of is this the right or wrong thing for the child?”

Quebec’s health ministry did not return CJAD’s call.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. GT posted on 04/24/2014 03:20 PM
    No. No and No. Are we clear now? It's buying a baby plain and simple.
  2. Grace posted on 04/25/2014 10:11 AM
    It should be legally recognized. Some couples can't conceive on their own and for others adoption may not be possible (whether do to expense or other issues) and just need help. If a woman is willing to make their dreams come true, and the couple asking for help helps buy her medical bills while she's carrying, I see no issue with this. Especially speaking as a woman that cannot carry her own baby due to health issues; I will likely need my own surrogate someday.

    There are plenty of people who have children that never should have, but we rarely go after them, instead we say "no, we must think of the child here!" If someone is going through this amount of trouble so they can have a child, who are we to say they'd be unfit parents for any reason? Until we make everyone pass a 'parenting' test before they can procreate, I saw we legalize this.
showing all comments

Share this article: