ART in the Commonwealth: BC is leading the way

On October 21, 2016, I was honored to speak at the American Bar Association’s 2016 Fall Family Law Section CLE Conference on an international panel “The Commonwealth of ART”. The panel explored the similarities and differences between the Commonwealth countries of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom as they approach difficult issues related to law and assisted reproduction.

Attached is my power point presentation from the conference “Baby Steps: Assisted Reproduction Technology and Fertility Law in Canada”. 2016-aba-canada-fertility-law

The presentation provides an overview of the fertility and parentage law in Canada, and a summary of the provincial law across Canada, with a detailed focus on British Columbia.

I was thrilled to have joined a panel with the following international fertility lawyers:

Moderator: Jessica Hoffman, Esq., Jacksonville, FL


Doreen Brown (Maitre), Montréal, QC,Canada

Michelle Kinney, LL.B., Victoria, BC, Canada

Rachel Oakeley, LL.B., LL.M., Barrister, Perth, Australia

Colin Rogerson, Solicitor Advocate, London, United Kingdom

The conference was held over three days in gorgeous Quebec City, with continual sessions respecting fertility law. Sessions covered a range of topics, including the evolution of US guidelines for medical practitioners respecting assisted reproduction, managing challenges and high conflict cases arising from surrogacy and assisted reproduction contracts, and navigating changes in relationships during surrogacy arrangements. Fertility lawyers from around the US, as well as from Canada and abroad, made this conference a joy to be at and an opportunity to connect with other lawyers practicing in this unique area of law.

Having had the opportunity to hear about the broad and divergent range of laws and legal frameworks (or lack thereof), challenges and issues faced by our neighbors to the south, as well as across Canada and around the world, I continue to hold my view that we are lucky here in British Columbia—we have perhaps the most comprehensive and progressive parentage scheme in the world to support families created through assisted reproduction.