As lawyers, we are big fans of contracts. Contracts help to manage human transactions throughout a wide variety of social, economic and political areas in society. The law is a social construct, and as society advances and develops new technologies, the law must adapt to these changes. Approximately 40 years ago, the first baby ever conceived from in-vitro fertilization was born. Since this time, the Canadian government has passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, the Uniform Child Status Act and the British Columbia Family Law Act, which all have legislative sections dealing with topics of assisted reproduction technologies. Assisted reproduction refers to a method of conceiving a child other than by sexual intercourse. Today, more and more Canadians, whom are either in a same sex relationship or unable to conceive a child naturally, rely on assisted reproduction technologies to become a parent. The process of moving forward with assisted reproduction is often coupled with a range of heightened emotions. As such, when an individual, couple, or group decides to move forward with assisted reproduction, it is essential all parties involved have a clear understanding of the expectations around the process, both prior to and after the child's conception. So, what does a "baby making" contract look like in the age of assisted reproductive technologies? There are a wide variety of topics that ought to be included in an assisted reproduction "baby making" contract. A family lawyer can help parties turn their minds to the numerous legal and practical considerations associated with assisted reproduction technologies. While all contracts must be drafted to reflect the individual set of factual circumstances, below are a number of common questions that lawyers will guide parties through:
- Who will be the intended legal parents?
- Who will pay for the costs?
- What will be the terms of the surrogacy agreement?
- Who will own the human reproductive material?
- What law will apply in the event of a conflict?
- How many rounds of IVF's will be tried?
- What happens in the event of a miscarriage?
- Where will the baby be born?
- Who will be on the birth certificate?
- What will be the terms of privacy that the parties agree?
- Will there be a known donor of human reproductive material?
- What will be the methods of dispute resolution in the event a conflict arises?
If you are looking into assisted reproductive technologies to become a parent, we recommend you contact a lawyer at Henderson Heinrichs LLP for a free initial consultation to discuss the benefits of drafting a "baby making" contract when moving forward with assisted reproduction technologies. Angie N. Riaño