We have experience in all aspects of Assisted Reproductive and Fertility Law.
We are based in mid-town Toronto but regularly assist clients from across Canada and throughout the world.
We provide personalized service in a caring and understanding manner. We are also able to provide you with insight, advice and understanding that is not only limited to legal aspects.
We provide “turn-key” service such that in addition to providing you with legal services, we can steer you in the best direction and introduce you to other quality and responsible practitioners in the fertility universe (surrogacy agencies, egg donor agencies, health practitioners, etc.).
We can provide you with insight into the steps along the way and can suggest / introduce you to other specialists that you will need along your journey to have children. We will assist you as best we can every step of the way.
We are happy to meet with you in person at my mid-town Toronto office location or via conference call (meetings at off normal work hours are typically not a problem).
We provide free initial consultation so we can meet and I can become more familiar with your situation and I can provide you with some initial guidance.
It would be my sincere pleasure to assist you with building your family!
Our experience can be categorized into the following four (4) main components:
o Surrogacy Arrangements
o Egg Donation Arrangements
o Hospital Directive Letters
o Court Declaration of Birth
The following is a summary of these legal matters involved in the IVF process.
In order to proceed with a surrogacy arrangement, the Fertility Clinic will require that there is a formal Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (“GSA”) in place. The GSA is a detailed document that includes provisions to govern ALL matters that will (or could possibly) come up in a surrogacy arrangement. As examples, the Surrogate’s conduct during pregnancy, the requirement to follow medical requirements during pregnancy, the Surrogate’s surrender of rights after birth, the protocol of expense reimbursement, etc.
Typically we would act for the Intended Parent(s) (“IPs”) and prepare an initial draft of the GSA. We would then send this draft to the lawyer for the Surrogate that we have assigned. Typically this lawyer would be both experienced in surrogacy matters and also familiar with our form of GSA (which generally keeps costs down for the IPs). Once the GSA is finalized and executed, a Legal Clearance letter is sent to the applicable Fertility Clinic and the medical processes may begin.
We have relationships with reputable surrogacy agencies in Canada and the United States.
Fertility Clinics will also require that Ova Donation Agreements are in place before any processes are started. This requirement is in place for both anonymous and known donors. The lawyers for both the IPs and the donors maintain the strict confidentiality of the parties.
We have relationships with reputable egg /ova donation agencies in Canada and the United States.
The Obstetrician/Hospital Directive letter advises the Obstetrician and the applicable hospital that there is a Surrogacy Agreement in place and confirms certain important/essential elements that will arise in the birth process that would be specific to a surrogacy arrangement. Examples of such items include that, upon the cutting of the umbilical cord, all material decisions impacting the Child will be those of the IPs, the IPs are allowed in the birth room, upon birth, the child shall be placed in the arms of the IPs, etc. This Directive Letter is usually in place at approximately the 25th week of pregnancy.
The Declaration of Parentage consists of obtaining documents in order to obtain an official Court Order that the IPs are the genetic/lawful (and sole) parents the Child. The process consists of obtaining affidavits from the IPs and the Surrogate as well as a certified DNA test result that all confirm the lawful parentage of the Child. Once the Order is obtained, it is sent to the applicable provincial government to have the Child’s birth registered (with the name and applicable parents) and to seal the court documents and the government documents. Without this Court Order, the Birth would be registered in the name of the Surrogate as the mother. This step usually takes place a day or two after the Birth.
Additionally, it is recommended that IPs create (or update) their Wills when entering surrogacy journeys or when expecting a child.
The new/updated Will should include provisions for:
o frozen ova;
o frozen embryos; and
o the care of the child upon the death or either or both IPs to ensure, at the minimum, that adequate provisions are in place for the support and education of the Child.