Reproductive Laws in Canada

  • givfadmin
  • March 21, 2013 9:26 pm


In 2004 the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Act stressed the importance of free and informed consent as a fundamental precondition to the use of reproductive technologies; and prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status or other grounds. The Act permits the regulated use of human reproductive and genetic material and human embryos. However, it specifically prohibits certain activities deemed `ethically unacceptable,` including: commercial surrogate motherhood contracts; the purchase of sperm or eggs; and the purchase or sale of embryos. Engaging in any of the activities prohibited by the Act is punishable with a fine of up to $500,000 or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both. Overriding of any of the Act`s other provisions is punishable with a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both. Embryo freezing, egg donation and embryo screening is permitted as long as they are in adherence to the AHR guidelines. The Royal Commission recommends the transfer of a maximum of three embryos.

Egg/Sperm Donation

Paid egg donations and sperm donations beyond reasonable expenses are prohibited. Sperm and eggs to be used to create embryos can only be used with the donor`s written consent. Donor anonymity allowed. There is no limit to the number of offspring for a sperm donor but sperm banks generally follow the US recommendation of 25 offspring per population of 800,000.


Only compassionate (unpaid) surrogacy is legally recognized. Section 6 of the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Act 2004 made it illegal to pay a person to act as a surrogate or to advertise to arrange or receive payment for arranging or offering to arrange the services of a surrogate. The Act does not apply to any commercial arrangements made before the Act came into force in 2004. Each province maintains its own method of establishing parentage. The province in which the child is born will govern the process. Generally, the woman who gives birth is presumed to be the child’s mother. In the case of surrogacy, this presumption must be overturned in a post-birth court application.

Disclaimer: Reproductive laws are a relatively new legal area and are in constant flux throughout the world. It is often hard to obtain current and accurate information, and we are always updating information on our site. Anyone pursuing reproductive assistance abroad should contact lawyers and clinics directly to confirm the current status in that country and any legal restrictions that might apply. GlobalIVF does not claim any accuracy for the information printed below and cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. If you have additional or conflicting information please contact us and we will update our site.

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