FAMILY PLANNING

Parental Projects, One Step at a Time

Services are offered in person or remotely

What are family planning services?

Families take many forms, and some of them require specific planning to create a clear parental project . For example, it is the case for assisted procreation, surrogacy , or families with more than two parents (multi-parent families)

While there are not necessarily conflicts in family planning, many decisions must be made while having the legal framework in mind. It may be helpful for those involved to discuss all the issues in a safe and neutral space.

Deux types de services s’offrent à vous: 

  • L’information et les conseils juridiques pour les parents d’intention ou un tiers impliqué (ex. mère porteuse);
  • Des séances de planification familiale similaires à la médiation pour encadrer les échanges de manière neutre entre toutes les personnes impliquées. Comme en médiation, le processus peut se solder par un résumé des ententes auquel pourront se référer les participants. Par contre, la valeur juridique des ententes varie selon le type de projet parental en considération des enjeux juridiques.

Please note Please note: The roles of mediator and legal counsel are different. Although I offer both services, they cannot be offered simultaneously.

Issues specific to different parenting plans

Not all family models are treated equally under the law. It is important to be well-informed in order to make decisions in the best interests of everyone involved, including future children.

Assisted procreation parenting plans are explicitly recognized by law. The process involves the use of another person's genetic material to have a child, without this person necessarily having a role in the child's life. Subject to certain rules, these parental projects make it possible to establish the filiation of future children, i.e. to determine in advance who their parents will be.

A parental plan may also include the desired level of involvement for a donor of genetic material.

In Quebec, surrogacy is not yet formally regulated, but several children are born each year from such a parental project. The agreements cannot be recognized in law, but they are based on good faith. Once the child is born, the person who carried the child can consent to the adoption of the child by the other parent, so that she will no longer be the legal parent.

Of course, the fact that the agreements are not currently recognized comes with its own set of risks, which is why it is important to be well informed on the legal aspects. The government recently tabled Bill No. 2 to reform family law, which addresses this issue and should facilitate the process. We are following the file closely to accompany families on these issues.

Some people choose to raise a child among more than two parents. They may be a male couple and a female friend who carries the child, a female couple and a male friend who provides genetic material, or more than two people in a marital relationship who want to form a family.

In Quebec, a child can only have two "legal" parents, which does not prevent these families from existing. However, creativity is required to try to protect the interests of all those involved, and especially the interests of the children.

Before embarking on such a project, it is important to understand the legal issues and to make decisions based on each person's interests. A mediation process helps to meet these objectives by combining legal information with a safe space to discuss.

Although the family law reform, which is currently underway, does not foresee any changes in this area as of today, you can read the mémoire that I drafted on the matter for Bill No. 2 (FR), to learn more on the matter.

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