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Law Medical Law & Legislation

Surrogacy in Canada

Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy

edited by Vanessa Gruben, Alana Cattapan & Angela Cameron

Irwin Law Inc.
Initial publish date
Nov 2018
Medical Law & Legislation, Children, Health, Gender & the Law
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    Nov 2018
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    Nov 2018
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This book brings together a range of critical perspectives on the governance of surrogacy in Canada. The chapters offer insight into how to address the challenges of regulating surrogacy (in Canada and elsewhere), and how to (re)think the governance of surrogacy in ways that address the health, well-being, and autonomy of surrogates. It also provides long-awaited empirical data about how surrogacy in Canada is occurring. In a critical period when long-awaited regulations on reimbursement are being developed and proposals for major reforms of the existing regulatory framework are being made, this book identifies important concerns about the experience of surrogacy in Canada, and makes recommendations for change. In particular, the chapters address: the ongoing struggle to address women’s autonomy in the context of surrogacy; the lack of empirical research on surrogacy and the importance of this type of research in developing effective and responsive law and policy in Canada; complex governance questions that arise under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act and the ongoing debate about whether the Act should be reformed; and issues of internationalization, including the practice of transnational surrogacy, whether it be Canadians seeking surrogates abroad or foreign intended parents seeking surrogates in Canada.

About the authors

Vanessa Gruben is an associate professor and a member of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Common Law, where she teaches health law and family law. Her research focuses on the legal and ethical aspects of assisted reproduction, including the constitutionality of Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act, the legal relationship between egg donors and their physicians, the constitutionality of anonymous sperm and egg donation, access to reproductive technologies, and the existing gaps in provincial law for families created through third-party reproduction. Gruben’s work is funded by the Social Science and Humanities and Research Council, Canadian Blood Services, and the Foundation for Legal Research. She is a co-editor of the fifth edition of Canadian Health Law and Policy (LexisNexis Canada, 2017).


Vanessa Gruben's profile page

Alana Cattapan is an assistant professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and an associate member of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. A longtime feminist researcher and activist, she studies women’s participation in policy making — identifying links between the state, the commercialization of the body, biotechnologies, and reproductive labour. Cattapan’s work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. Her research is interdisciplinary and has been published in journals across a range of fields, including Studies in Political Economy, the Journal of Medical Ethics, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Canadian Journal of Law and Society.


Alana Cattapan's profile page

Angela Cameron received her LLB from Dalhousie University in 1998, and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1999. She received her LLM from the University of British Columbia in 2003 and her Doctorate from the University of Victoria in 2012. She was an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and a President’s Research Scholar at the University of Victoria. Professor Cameron’s research is generally in the area of social justice, with a particular focus on the equality interests of women. Professor Cameron’s research areas include criminal law, restorative justice, property law, reproductive technologies law, family law, legal theory, sociological approaches to law, and human rights law. She is the administrator of


Angela Cameron's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This book is well organized and includes a thorough index. Contributors, largely Canadian academics, back up their arguments and analysis with references to legislation, regulations, Royal Commission findings and reports, media articles, and case studies, all serving to situate the reader at the heart of the issues presented. Extensive footnotes and a table of cases reflect this strong foundation in legal and related sources.

A fascinating read, this book is a welcome addition to existing literature appearing on this topic and will introduce many to the Canadian context. Canada’s proximity to the United States, a factor in the increasing internationalization and interest in Canada as a surrogate-seeking destination, makes this book of interest for legal scholars and practitioners beyond Canada’s borders. Insightful examination of complex questions will ensure this book’s value in relevant courses and research collections."

Margo Jeske, Special Projects Librarian, Brian Dickson Law Library, University of Ottawa, Law Library Journal, Vol. 111:3 (2019), 445

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