Who knew that there are so many legal contracts during a surrogacy process? We didn’t. But it was all good to understand the reasons behind it, all to protect all involved, less the agency and the IVF Clinic. We had to look for lawyers! The surrogacy agencies will be able to recommend but we prefer to go with the ones we are comfortable with. We wanted to be as involved as possible especially when we are located on the other side of the world!
We needed legal for the following:
- Egg donor contract for the egg donor
- Egg donor contract for the Intended Parents (us)
- Surrogacy contract for surrogate (agency source this one for the surrogate)
- Surrogacy contract for Intended Parents
- Post-birth contract / Declaration of Parentage
Contracts 1 to 4 does not require the lawyer to be in the same province as the birth of the child. The final contract / Declaration of Parentage has to be drawn by a lawyer in the province where the child is born.
We had a consultation/meet-up with Alex MacNab from Mope Hannah LLP on 30 November 2016 as he was speaking at the Surrogacy Roadshow in Melbourne on that day. He works and lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He was introduced to us by Sam from Families Through Surrogacy based in Sydney (also the organiser of the Surrogacy Roadshows in Australia and New Zealand).
We also had a consultation with Shirley Levitan, a fertility lawyer based in Ontario, Canada. We were recommended by one of the other surrogacy agencies that we had consultation with. She was really good and informative. She told us more information about the law changes (which Alex touched on when we met him) in December 2016 and also January 2017. The changes that will see a more equality for LGBTIQ parents, and IPs like us saving a littler bit more money through Declaration of Parentage process. We really liked her and her enthusiasm. Click here for more information about the new law – Bill 28.
We were also recommended an Ontario layer from Alex MacNab. As we told him that we would most likely want to have a surrogate based in Ontario, so there will be less traveling. Well. It is all ideal situation we are talking about. He recommended Cindy Wasser, from Hope Springs Fertility Law. She also presented at the Surrogacy Roadshow in Melbourne on 30 November 2016 through Skype. We didn’t really get to speak with her because she passed us to Tamara Gasparyan, her Law Clerk, to coordinate our appointment and also answer all our questions. We felt that the contact was not very personal. Maybe she was busy and may have plenty of IPs like us asking questions and also cost issues, and the questions are something that the law clerk can handle. Anyway, that could work for others, but not really for us when we could speak with good lawyers like Alex MacNab and Shirley Levitan without having to go through their assistants (if they have any).
Yep, we have chosen. Alex MacNab will be doing our egg donor and surrogacy contracts and then we will probably go with Shirley Levitan for our last contract if the childbirth is located in Ontario.