A few weeks ago, our staff had the pleasure of attending a Fertility conference put on at Osgoode Hall, chaired by Sara Cohen, and Ellen Embry.
One of the sessions was on the Importance of estate planning, when it comes to ART, and more specifically Surrogacy, and those cryopreserving eggs/sperm/embryos.
When Intended parents meet with a wills, and estates lawyer to update their wills, it is vitally important to discuss the plans for disposition of eggs/sperm/embryos, should anything happen to either party. It is also important to provide information on any children on their way, through Surrogacy, and who would care for them, should something happen during the pregnancy.
CFC’s Surrogacy program doesn’t require clients to undergo estate planning, however we suggest that all parties- Intended parents, and Surrogates have wills in place, contemplating the Surrogacy arrangement. For the intended parents, it makes most sense to have this in place prior to the agreement being signed, and for the Surrogate, this would be put in place at the stage of viability, so typically around 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Fertility clinics are beginning to add clauses to their consent forms, to ensure that patients are beginning to at least think about theses issues, prior to the creation of embryos. It is also becoming more common for fertility counsellors to discuss the how’s, and why’s of disposition of embryos, whether due to death, divorce, or simply the donation of unused embryos. It