Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Fertility

Embryo donation an option to consider

Sara Cohen

Many Canadians who use in vitro fertilization don't realize embryo donation is an option even if their fertility clinic does not offer it, says Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen


In a video on AdvocateDaily.com, Cohen says it's important for an individual to be aware of all the options before deciding the fate of leftover embryos.

"A lot of clinics don't offer this and what is also concerning to me is not so much that they don't offer it, but I find a lot of people aren't aware that this is an option for them," she says. "I think that's because not many clinics in Canada are yet engaging in this process."

Cohen explains when an individual goes through the process of in vitro fertilization, there may be embryos left over.

"They have to make a choice about what to do with these embryos," says Cohen, noting options include preserving or destroying the embryos or donating them for medical research or to another family.

The state of the law regarding embryo donation in Canada is in its infancy, says Cohen.

"Really all we have is the Assisted Human Reproduction Act," she says. "To be best of my knowledge we have no case law regarding embryo donation at this point."

Cohen recently discussed the issue of unused embryos and embryo donation with Canadian Family magazine, explaining that there is no legislation preventing embryo donors from choosing to whom embryos will be donated.  Read Canadian Family Article

Similar to gamete donation, which involves donation of ova and sperm, embryo donation is an option everyone should be aware of, says Cohen, adding she's helped many couples through the process.

"I actually find it really fulfilling," she says. "I find that the recipient couple is usually very grateful and excited for the opportunity and the donor couple ... some people do not feel it's truly an option for them to destroy embryos and they like this opportunity to help another family that's probably going through a similar struggle to what they've already been through themselves."  Watch Video

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