Government oversight permits illegal surrogacy, payment for egg donations in Canada

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

On December 3 the National Academy of Sciences released a statement issued by Health Canada has made just two attempts to enforce its controversial fertility law since early 2014, mildly rebuking someone who posted bus-shelter ads to hire a surrogate mother, and a company allegedly paying women to donate eggs, internal documents indicate.

Both actions would violate criminal bans in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, but neither alleged offender was ever prosecuted, the emails and cease-and-desist letters obtained by the National Post under access-to-information legislation indicate.

And they were the lone infractions the department investigated in 2014 and much of 2015, both prompted by complaints from the public.


The government is not just turning a blind eye to breaches of the legislation, charged Francoise Baylis, a bioethicist at Dalhousie University.

“These letters — coupled with the failure to investigate and, as appropriate, prosecute — provide shameful evidence of complicity with illegal activity.”

It is telling that someone would even dare to put up a public ad for a paid surrogate, given the law banning commercial surrogacy, echoed Vardit Ravitsky, an ethicist at the University of Montreal.

“The message is going out to the public that ‘We’re not taking this seriously,’ ” she said. “There is a long track record of inaction.”


Read full, original post: Health Canada all but ignores illegal ad for surrogate, cash for egg donors, internal documents reveal

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