Estates Law and the Evolving Status of Gamete Donors

In his January 25, 2102 article, “Case could clarify parental status of sperm donors,” Christopher Guly for The Lawyers Weekly summarizes the facts of a paternity rights case to be heard this summer by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Briefly, a sperm donor enters into a preconception agreement with a lesbian couple. The donor’s sperm is used to create a child for the couple. The donor now seeks paternity rights despite the terms of the executed preconception agreement. Mr. Guly writes that the case could address gaps in Ontario’s legislation as it pertains to the parental rights of sperm donors where the donor is known to the donee(s).

In addition to family law issues discussed in Mr. Guly’s article, evolving family structures and assisted reproductive technology also intersect with estates law. In their 2009 paper, “Life After Death: Modern Genetics and the Estate Claim,” Kimberley Whaley and Helena Likwornik consider how courts may address emerging rights and entitlements of gamete donors and their genetic offspring in the context of dependant support claims, will interpretation, and intestacy.

You can re-visit the Whaley & Likwornik paper, originally published in volume 28 of the Estates & Trusts Pensions Journal, by clicking here.

The Lawyers Weekly article, “Case could clarify parental status of sperm donors” by Christopher Guly in the January 25, 2103 edition is available online by clicking here.

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