Frequently Asked Questions
I am in a same-sex relationship, and my partner used a sperm donor to get pregnant. Do I need to adopt our child once it is born?
If you live in Ontario, and the sperm donor was anonymous, adoption is probably not required, because you and your partner should be permitted to register the child’s birth using a statutory declaration. But if the sperm donor was a known donor, it may be a good idea to proceed by adoption, and you will need to obtain the sperm donor’s consent to the adoption. It is important to have a donor agreement in place that will have a clause which states that you will be allowed to adopt the child.
My wife and I used a sperm donor to get pregnant, but we separated right before the baby was born. I am a not biologically related to our son, and my ex-wife is using this to deny access to him. She says that I don’t have any parental rights since he isn’t my child. Is this true?
If you have a donor agreement in place, it should state that you have parental rights, including the right to adopt your child. If you don’t have an agreement in place, you should examine your options, including mediation or starting a court application to obtain a declaration of parentage as well as custody and access rights.
During our relationship, we used a surrogate to have a child. We have now separated, and my ex-partner isn’t seeing our child, saying that since it’s not her biological child, she has no obligation to see the child or pay child support. Can I force her to have some access and pay some child support?
Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to have access with a child. But if you have proof that your ex-partner was involved with the planning of having this child through a surrogate, they will have to pay child support based upon their gross annual income and the child support guidelines.
I am donating my sperm to some friends. Why do we need a written agreement?
It is really important to put your agreement in writing when you are donating sperm, even if you are donating to your friends. This way you have confirmed everyone’s intentions, including the rights of the non-biological parents and your agreement to consent to their adoption of the child. In addition, the agreement will protect you from any obligation to financially support the child.
I am an American, and I am thinking of using a surrogate in Canada to have a child. Will I be able to bring my child back into the U.S.?
Depending on many factors, this may be a good idea. You need to talk to a family lawyer with expertise in the province that your surrogate lives in, to find out whether you will be able to register the child’s birth in your names, and to find out whether you will need to adopt the child in that province, or obtain a declaration of parentage. As well, you need to talk to an American immigration lawyer to find out if you can legally bring your child back to your state. We are not able to provide legal advice on American immigration law.
We are thinking about using a surrogate in India since we heard it is less expensive than in Canada. Are there any problems with this plan?
Make sure you speak to an immigration lawyer before you sign any agreements to hire a surrogate in another country. If the child is biologically related to one of the intended parents in Canada, it is relatively easy to apply for citizenship of a child of a Canadian born abroad. But if the child is not biologically related to the Canadian intended parents, the process is lengthy and expensive to bring the child to Canada, since you will have to arrange for the adoption of the child in the foreign country, and then apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to sponsor the child.
We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your needs. Contact us for a consultation.