Assisted Human Reproduction Act (S.C. 2004, c. 2)

Assented to 2004-03-29

Assisted Human Reproduction Act

S.C. 2004, c. 2

Assented to 2004-03-29

An Act respecting assisted human reproduction and related research


This enactment prohibits assisted reproduction procedures that are considered to be ethically unacceptable. Other types of assisted reproduction procedures are prohibited unless carried out in accordance with a licence and the regulations, which will address health and safety concerns. The creation and use of embryos for research purposes is also addressed. A privacy regime governs the collection, use and disclosure of health reporting information.

The enactment creates the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada. The Agency will provide advice to the Minister of Health on the matters governed by the enactment. It will also be responsible for the issuance and review of licences, the collection and analysis of health reporting information, inspections and the enforcement of the enactment.

The enactment creates offences for contravention of the provisions of the enactment, the regulations made under it or the terms and conditions of a licence.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.


Marginal note:Declaration

 The Parliament of Canada recognizes and declares that

  • (a) the health and well-being of children born through the application of assisted human reproductive technologies must be given priority in all decisions respecting their use;

  • (b) the benefits of assisted human reproductive technologies and related research for individuals, for families and for society in general can be most effectively secured by taking appropriate measures for the protection and promotion of human health, safety, dignity and rights in the use of these technologies and in related research;

  • (c) while all persons are affected by these technologies, women more than men are directly and significantly affected by their application and the health and well-being of women must be protected in the application of these technologies;

  • (d) the principle of free and informed consent must be promoted and applied as a fundamental condition of the use of human reproductive technologies;

  • (e) persons who seek to undergo assisted reproduction procedures must not be discriminated against, including on the basis of their sexual orientation or marital status;

  • (f) trade in the reproductive capabilities of women and men and the exploitation of children, women and men for commercial ends raise health and ethical concerns that justify their prohibition; and

  • (g) human individuality and diversity, and the integrity of the human genome, must be preserved and protected.


Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.



Agency means the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada established by subsection 21(1). (Agence)

assisted reproduction procedure

technique de procréation assistée

assisted reproduction procedure means any controlled activity referred to in section 10 that is performed for the purpose of creating a human being. (technique de procréation assistée)



chimera means

  • (a) an embryo into which a cell of any non-human life form has been introduced; or

  • (b) an embryo that consists of cells of more than one embryo, foetus or human being.



consent means fully informed and freely given consent that is given in accordance with the applicable law governing consent and that conforms to the provisions of the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Guidelines released by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in March, 2002, as detailed in the Regulations. (consentement)

controlled activity

activité réglementée

controlled activity means an activity that may not be undertaken except in accordance with sections 10 to 12. (activité réglementée)



donor means

  • (a) in relation to human reproductive material, the individual from whose body it was obtained, whether for consideration or not; and

  • (b) in relation to an in vitro embryo, a donor as defined in the regulations.



embryo means a human organism during the first 56 days of its development following fertilization or creation, excluding any time during which its development has been suspended, and includes any cell derived from such an organism that is used for the purpose of creating a human being. (embryon)



foetus means a human organism during the period of its development beginning on the fifty-seventh day following fertilization or creation, excluding any time during which its development has been suspended, and ending at birth. (foetus)



gene includes a nucleotide sequence, and an artificially created gene or nucleotide sequence. (gène)



genome means the totality of the deoxyribonucleic acid sequence of a particular cell. (génome)

health reporting information

renseignement médical

health reporting information means information provided under this Act respecting

  • (a) the identity, personal characteristics, genetic information and medical history of donors of human reproductive material and in vitro embryos, persons who have undergone assisted reproduction procedures and persons who were conceived by means of those procedures; and

  • (b) the custody of donated human reproductive materials and in vitro embryos and the uses that are made of them.

human clone

clone humain

human clone means an embryo that, as a result of the manipulation of human reproductive material or an in vitro embryo, contains a diploid set of chromosomes obtained from a single — living or deceased — human being, foetus or embryo. (clone humain)

human reproductive material

matériel reproductif humain

human reproductive material means a sperm, ovum or other human cell or a human gene, and includes a part of any of them. (matériel reproductif humain)




  • (a) a human ovum that has been fertilized by a sperm of a non-human life form;

  • (b) an ovum of a non-human life form that has been fertilized by a human sperm;

  • (c) a human ovum into which the nucleus of a cell of a non-human life form has been introduced;

  • (d) an ovum of a non-human life form into which the nucleus of a human cell has been introduced; or

  • (e) a human ovum or an ovum of a non-human life form that otherwise contains haploid sets of chromosomes from both a human being and a non-human life form.

in vitro embryo

embryon in vitro

in vitro embryo means an embryo that exists outside the body of a human being. (embryon in vitro)



licence means a licence issued in respect of a controlled activity or premises under section 40. (autorisation)



Minister means the Minister of Health. (ministre)



ovum means a human ovum, whether mature or not. (ovule)



sperm means a human sperm, whether mature or not. (spermatozoïde)

surrogate mother

mère porteuse

surrogate mother means a female person who — with the intention of surrendering the child at birth to a donor or another person — carries an embryo or foetus that was conceived by means of an assisted reproduction procedure and derived from the genes of a donor or donors. (mère porteuse)

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