For years now, ever since the Assisted Human Reproduction Act became law back in 2004 and prohibited the purchase of donor gametes from a donor or a person acting on behalf of a donor, most donor sperm used in Canada has been imported via the U.S. or other countries. The problem? Here it is: at this point, most egg banks in the U.S. offer only anonymously donated eggs. To make a long story short, whether or not this is legal is a nuanced answer where the devil is in the details but suffice it to say that I think it is possible to carefully work within the confines of the AHRA to import ova into Canada in a legal manner.
There has been a veritable flood of articles in Canadian media recently about the practice of California IVF: Davis Fertility Center Inc. creating embryos to sell to clients to be used in IVF. Based on my conversations with fertility lawyers and clinicians, the ethical concern and associated uproar isn't about the sale of embryos per se, but about clinicians creating embryos at their discretion without any particular parents in mind, using the characteristics that the clinicians determine are most likely in demand. This is what is so upsetting to so many.
12/07/2012 05:26 EST
A recent segment on The National may have left the impression that purchasing donor eggs that have been shipped to Canada from the U.S. is illegal. I respectfully disagree, but I continue to be concerned that potential clients who engage in such a transaction could open themselves up to an investigation or to criminal charges.
05/02/2012 07:34 EDT
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