Contract with surrogate mothers in the Province of Quebec – what to expect

Contract with surrogate mothers in the Province of Quebec – what to expect

LEGALLY SPEAKING: Here is the next article in a series of legal columns by Quebec law firm  Joli-Cœur Lacasse Avocats.

Although the law in the Province of Quebec does not allow to conclude a contract whereby a woman undertakes to procreate or carry a child for another person, some couples, driven by a great desire to have children, will override this. In 2004, the federal government passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act which governs certain modalities regarding agreements with surrogate mothers. Particularly, that Act imposes a minimum age of the surrogate mother and it prohibits the payment of any consideration regarding the surrogate mother.

However, in the Province of Quebec, it is still contrary to public order policy to enter into such contracts. Consequently, future parents can easily get lost in this situation.

The courts have been called upon in recent years to address the issue of adoption and filiation of children conceived by a surrogate mother. Two lines of authority were then developed, that is whether or not to allow the adoption of the child by “intended” parent(s), being the parent(s) who desire to adopt a child born in the context of a surrogacy contract.

On one hand, some judges invoke public order and refuse to grant the adoption to the “intended” parent(s) of a child born in such a context, explaining that the court would exercise “willful blindness” and that one cannot legalize “after the fact” a situation that is the result of an illegal contract.

On the other hand, some decisions emphasize that the child’s interest must prevail over the illegal actions of their parents. One then refuses to carry such a burden to the child, who is not party to that contract, granting therefore granting the adoption.

For parents who are thinking of entering into a contract with a surrogate mother in the Province of Quebec, the outcome of the application for adoption remains uncertain even though recently, with the child’s best interests in mind, the trend seems to lean towards the recognition of parenthood of the intended parent(s).

Taking into consideration the challenges surrounding an issue of this magnitude, we advise you to consult a lawyer before embarking on such a project.

By Me Albina Mulaomerovic and Me Sophia Claude.


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Categories: Opinion

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Jolicoeur Lacasse Avocats

Notre cabinet qui regroupe une centaine d'avocats présents à Québec, Trois-Rivières et Montréal, est reconnu pour offrir, à des coûts avantageux, des services juridiques efficaces et efficients. Nos professionnels sont compétents, imaginatifs et désireux de vous permettre d’atteindre vos objectifs dans un environnement de partenariat et de convivialité. Ils sont en mesure d’identifier et d’anticiper vos besoins et, le moment venu, ils sauront agir de manière proactive et entamer des démarches novatrices et sécurisantes, afin de vous offrir un service adapté à votre réalité.

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