In an interesting January, 2014 decision, a Kansas court held that a man who became a sperm donor after answering an ad in Craigslist was the legal father of the child that resulted. He was ordered to pay child support.
The ad was placed by a lesbian couple unable to afford a doctor-assisted artificial insemination procedure not covered by their insurance policy.
The father plans to appeal this ruling, according to news reports.
Instead, Canada has prohibited the purchase and sale of genetic material and opted to criminalize what should ultimately be a provincial health issue. Indeed, large sections of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, S.C. 2004, c. 2 have been struck down precisely because it intrudes into provincial jurisdiction.
Canada's Assisted Human Reproduction Act, S.C. 2004, c. 2, provides as follows:
When the mother personally knows the donor and takes the anonymity out of the equation, what would otherwise be a medically sterile transaction suddenly raises questions with respect to the rights and obligations of the biological father.
In many cases, a mother will select assisted reproduction as a family planning method so as to avoid the familial and legal implications that arise with joint parentage. She has likely gone to great lengths to select a donor who respects and agrees with those intentions.
Shouldn't the law respect that?