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

Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2020-06-09. Previous Versions

Assisted Human Reproduction Act

S.C. 2004, c. 2

Assented to 2004-03-29

An Act respecting assisted human reproduction and related research

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

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

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

Principles

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.

Interpretation and Application

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

Agency

Agency[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 713]

assisted reproduction procedure

assisted reproduction procedure[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 713]

chimera

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. (chimère)

consent

consent[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 713]

controlled activity

controlled activity[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 713]

donor

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. (donneur)

embryo

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

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

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

genome

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

health reporting information

health reporting information[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 713]

human clone

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

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)

hybrid

hybrid means

  • (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. (hybride)

in vitro embryo

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

licence

licence[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 713]

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Health. (ministre)

ovum

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

sperm

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

surrogate mother

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)

  • 2004, c. 2, s. 3
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 713

Marginal note:Her Majesty bound

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

Marginal note:Non-application

 The Human Pathogens and Toxins Act does not apply in respect of sperm, ova and in vitro embryos to be used for the purpose of assisted human reproduction.

  • 2012, c. 19, s. 714

Marginal note:Non-application

 The Food and Drugs Act does not apply in respect of sperm and ova to be used for the purpose of assisted human reproduction.

Prohibited Activities

Marginal note:Prohibited procedures

  •  (1) No person shall knowingly

    • (a) create a human clone by using any technique, or transplant a human clone into a human being or into any non-human life form or artificial device;

    • (b) create an in vitro embryo for any purpose other than creating a human being or improving or providing instruction in assisted reproduction procedures;

    • (c) for the purpose of creating a human being, create an embryo from a cell or part of a cell taken from an embryo or foetus or transplant an embryo so created into a human being;

    • (d) maintain an embryo outside the body of a female person after the fourteenth day of its development following fertilization or creation, excluding any time during which its development has been suspended;

    • (e) for the purpose of creating a human being, perform any procedure or provide, prescribe or administer any thing that would ensure or increase the probability that an embryo will be of a particular sex, or that would identify the sex of an in vitro embryo, except to prevent, diagnose or treat a sex-linked disorder or disease;

    • (f) alter the genome of a cell of a human being or in vitro embryo such that the alteration is capable of being transmitted to descendants;

    • (g) transplant a sperm, ovum, embryo or foetus of a non-human life form into a human being;

    • (h) for the purpose of creating a human being, make use of any human reproductive material or an in vitro embryo that is or was transplanted into a non-human life form;

    • (i) create a chimera, or transplant a chimera into either a human being or a non-human life form; or

    • (j) create a hybrid for the purpose of reproduction, or transplant a hybrid into either a human being or a non-human life form.

  • Marginal note:Offers

    (2) No person shall offer to do, or advertise the doing of, anything prohibited by this section.

  • Marginal note:Payment for prohibited act

    (3) No person shall pay or offer to pay consideration to any person for doing anything prohibited by this section.

Marginal note:Payment for surrogacy

  •  (1) No person shall pay consideration to a female person to be a surrogate mother, offer to pay such consideration or advertise that it will be paid.

  • Marginal note:Acting as intermediary

    (2) No person shall accept consideration for arranging for the services of a surrogate mother, offer to make such an arrangement for consideration or advertise the arranging of such services.

  • Marginal note:Payment to intermediaries

    (3) No person shall pay consideration to another person to arrange for the services of a surrogate mother, offer to pay such consideration or advertise the payment of it.

  • Marginal note:Surrogate mother — minimum age

    (4) No person shall counsel or induce a female person to become a surrogate mother, or perform any medical procedure to assist a female person to become a surrogate mother, knowing or having reason to believe that the female person is under 21 years of age.

  • Marginal note:Validity of agreement

    (5) This section does not affect the validity under provincial law of any agreement under which a person agrees to be a surrogate mother.

Marginal note:Purchase of gametes

  •  (1) No person shall purchase, offer to purchase or advertise for the purchase of sperm or ova from a donor or a person acting on behalf of a donor.

  • Marginal note:Purchase or sale of embryos

    (2) No person shall

    • (a) purchase, offer to purchase or advertise for the purchase of an in vitro embryo; or

    • (b) sell, offer for sale or advertise for sale an in vitro embryo.

  • Marginal note:Purchase of other reproductive material

    (3) No person shall purchase, offer to purchase or advertise for the purchase of a human cell or gene from a donor or a person acting on behalf of a donor, with the intention of using the gene or cell to create a human being or of making it available for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Exchanges included

    (4) In this section, “purchase” or “sell” includes to acquire or dispose of in exchange for property or services.

Marginal note:Use of reproductive material without consent

  •  (1) No person shall make use of human reproductive material for the purpose of creating an embryo unless the donor of the material has given written consent, in accordance with the regulations, to its use for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Posthumous use without consent

    (2) No person shall remove human reproductive material from a donor’s body after the donor’s death for the purpose of creating an embryo unless the donor of the material has given written consent, in accordance with the regulations, to its removal for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Use of in vitro embryo without consent

    (3) No person shall make use of an in vitro embryo for any purpose unless the donor has given written consent, in accordance with the regulations, to its use for that purpose.

Marginal note:Gametes obtained from minor

 No person shall obtain any sperm or ovum from a donor under 18 years of age, or use any sperm or ovum so obtained, except for the purpose of preserving the sperm or ovum or for the purpose of creating a human being that the person reasonably believes will be raised by the donor.

Marginal note:Purpose

  •  (1) The purpose of this section is to reduce the risks to human health and safety arising from the use of sperm or ova for the purpose of assisted human reproduction, including the risk of the transmission of disease.

  • Marginal note:Distribution, etc. of gametes

    (2) Subject to subsection (3), no person shall distribute, make use of or import any of the following for the purpose of assisted human reproduction:

    • (a) sperm that has been obtained from a donor and that is meant for the use of a female person other than a spouse, common-law partner or sexual partner of the donor;

    • (b) an ovum that has been obtained from a donor and that is meant for the use of a female person other than the donor or the spouse, common-law partner or sexual partner of the donor; or

    • (c) an ovum that has been obtained from a donor and that is meant for the donor’s use as a surrogate mother.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Subsection (2) does not apply if

    • (a) tests have been conducted in respect of the sperm or ovum in accordance with the regulations, and the sperm or ovum has been obtained, prepared, preserved, quarantined, identified, labelled and stored and its quality assessed in accordance with the regulations; and

    • (b) the donor of the sperm or ovum has been screened and tested, and the donor’s suitability has been assessed, in accordance with the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Testing, etc. in respect of gametes

    (4) No person shall, except in accordance with the regulations, engage in any activity described in paragraph (3)(a) or (b) in respect of any of the following with the intention of distributing or making use of it for the purpose of assisted human reproduction:

    • (a) sperm described in paragraph (2)(a);

    • (b) an ovum described in paragraph (2)(b); or

    • (c) an ovum described in paragraph (2)(c).

  • Definition of common-law partner

    (5) In this section, common-law partner, in relation to an individual, means a person who is cohabiting with the individual in a conjugal relationship at the relevant time, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year.

 
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