The provincial government intends to recognize and regulate the use of surrogate mothers as part of its overhaul of Quebec’s family laws. Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced on Thursday that Bill 2 will modernize the province’s body of family laws to recognize new social realities. At this moment, criminal code prohibits the use of women to carry a child if payment has been made. By contract, no criminal liability if no payment has been made.
Bill 2 would create a framework for resorting to surrogate mothers by obliging the conclusion of a surrogacy agreement before the onset of pregnancy. It would also require obtaining, after the birth of the child, the consent of the person who gave birth that their parentage never existed. The surrogate mother would have to be at least 21 years old, and still could not be paid, but can be compensated for loss of work income and for several expenses. She would be able to change her mind and terminate the contract at any time without risking a lawsuit.
Bill 2 would also amend the province’s Act Respecting Parental Insurance and Act Respecting Labour Standards to take into account, among other things, surrogacy when it comes to providing leave and benefits. The bill also adds to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms the right to learn about one’s origins for anyone whose procreation involved the contribution of a third party.
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