Egg, sperm, and embryo donation are all legal in Canada.
“Purchase” of gametes is not permitted, but reimbursement of all of a donor’s out of pocket expenses related to the donation, is legal. It has become increasingly difficult to find a donor in Canada.
Finding an Egg Donor
Egg donation, sperm donation and embryo donation are all legal in Canada. “Purchase” of gametes is not permitted, but reimbursement of all of a donor’s out of pocket expenses related to the donation, is legal. It has become increasingly difficult to find a donor in Canada.
Known Donor v. Anonymous Donor
Legally, the respective rights and obligations of the intended parents and the ovum donor are consistent regardless of whether the donor is known or anonymous. Contrary to popular belief anonymity does not protect any party. The decision of whether to proceed anonymously should be made based on social factors and not legal factors.
Finding an Donor in Canada
Known Ovum Donor
The first step in locating an egg donor is to decide whether or not you wish to approach women within your circle of family and friends.
Finding an Altruistic Ovum Donor in Canada
If there are no known donors available to you, or if you choose to proceed with a third party donor, there are several ways of locating a donor in Canada. The most common method is advertisement in online and print publications. Craigslist, NOW Magazine, The Mirror, The Post, The Guardian and several university or college publications will accept advertisements looking for ovum donors. Advertising for the “purchase” of ova is a prohibited act under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, S.C. 2004, c.2, however, advertisement for altruistic donors is not prohibited. In order to conform with the Act, there should be no mention of payment or compensation of any kind in any advertisement. Most responses come via email and there is no need to rent a post office box or publish a phone number. Guard your personal information at this stage.
Finding an Ovum Donor in The United States
Legislation regarding reproductive technology is currently found in 36 states. As reproductive technology is governed by state legislation and not federally, the regulatory environment will vary from state to state. You may choose to: (i) find an American egg donor and work with an American physician, or (ii) work with an American egg donor agency that will facilitate the donor’s travel to Canada, allowing you to undergo the cycle in Canada with your own physician. Whether or not the model of the US donor flying to Canada conforms with the Act remains to be seen. Some US clinics will, as part of their services, find an egg donor on your behalf.