A proposed Quebec legislative reform that recognizes and regulates surrogacy in order to protect the best interests of the child, establishes new regulations on parentage, and aims to protect children born as a result of sexual assault has been commended by notaries but drawn mixed reaction from family law experts.
Bill 12, part of an ongoing effort by the provincial government to revamp family law, allows a child born as a result of rape to challenge his filiation to the assailant, compels the aggressor to pay compensation to meet the child’s needs, amends the Civil Code of Québec to specify the various ways of establishing filiation, and puts Quebec on the same footing as several other provinces by giving legal recognition to surrogacy contracts.
A controversial Quebec bill that would amend the Civil Code and family law has been lauded for creating a legal framework for the use of surrogate mothers but has been slammed for scaling back trans rights and possibly opening the door to a divisive debate over the rights of a foetus.
A woman who sought to be legally recognized as the mother of a child borne by a surrogate mother was thwarted by a Quebec Court judge who held that, unlike in the rest of Canada, surrogacy agreements are illegal in Quebec.
“This child does not have a right to maternal filiation at any cost,” said Judge Michel Dubois in his 11-page ruling.