Third party reproduction important issue for Jewish community

While a broad spectrum of members of the Jewish community are seeking the help of a third party to build their family, many feel a sense of isolation in experiencing these challenges, Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen writes in The Exchange , a publication of the The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). Read more

Cohen to co-chair Osgoode fertility law program

Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen is set to share her expertise on developments in fertility law at an upcoming program, presented by Osgoode Professional Development. Read more

Virtual meetings allow meaningful connection with clients

Over the last few years, innovative video conference tools such as Skype have become an integral part of connecting with clients — both locally and those based overseas, Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen tells Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Cohen to discuss fertility law at Life After Childhood Cancer event

Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen will be speaking at the upcoming 3 rd Life After Childhood Cancer event, hosted by the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario and Camp Oochigeas. Read more

Social media helps lawyers get personal

Social media strategy often differs from one lawyer to another, but Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen tells Lawyers Weekly that she prefers a personal approach. Read more

Ontario sets aside $50 million a year to fund IVF treatments

TORONTO – Ontario will spend $50 million a year expanding coverage of in vitro fertilization to help about 4,000 would-be parents grow their families. Read more

Ontario's IVF funding plan needs to be inclusionary

As Ontario’s health minister delays announcing details of the province’s IVF funding plan to do more consultations, Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen says she hopes it will be inclusionary, as well as take into account continuing scientific advancements and changing social realities. Read more

Demand for surrogacy surges

The demand for surrogacy is on the rise as the comfort level with reproductive options increases, says Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen . National Post Read more

Cohen named one of Top 25 Most Influential

Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen has been named as one of this year’s Top 25 Most Influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer magazine for improving the practice of fertility law in Canada and other countries. Read more

Proposed regulations re: reimbursing surrogates, donors

By Sara Cohen . The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA) came into force in 2004. S. 6 of the AHRA prohibits paying a surrogate for her services, and s. 7 of the AHRA prohibits purchasing ova, sperm or embryos from an egg donor, sperm donor or embryo donor or from a person acting on behalf of a donor. S. 12, though, permits reimbursement to the donor or the surrogate, only for reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred, in accordance with the regulations. However, from 2004 until now, we did not have regulations or even an inkling about what those regulations would look like if drafted...until today. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) provided a draft of the proposed regulations. They are open for public comment until September 15, 2015. You can access them and comment here: French: http://publicreview.csa.ca/Home/Details/1651 English: http://publicreview.csa.ca/Home/Details/1650 You will need to register and login. I am certain over the next little while I will have more to say about the substance of the proposed regulations. At this point, though, I want to express my disappointment that this is the route taken to regulate fertility law in Canada. The AHRA has been a failure from the beginning. Canada tried to take control on a federal level and in order to do so, needed to use the federal criminal power. Huge swaths of the act were struck because they were found to be properly within the provincial, and not federal, jurisdiction. Continuing to regulate fertility treatments in Canada in the sphere of criminal law as opposed to health law by the provinces is a mistake, and I think it should be obvious by now. "Assisted human reproduction was not then, nor is it now, an evil needing to be suppressed. In fact, it is a burgeoning field of medical practice and research that, as Parliament mentions in s. 2 of the AHR Act, brings benefits to many Canadians ." (para 231, Supreme Court of Canada Reference re Assisted Human Reproduction Act). Jurisdictions that over-criminalize commercialized third party reproduction leads to situations like Baby Gammy , and the current Australian story of intended parents abandoning one of a set of twins born through surrogacy in India because the parents decided they only wanted one child of a specific gender. For third party reproduction to be ethical and safe for all parties, we need to make sure we can take care of our fertility needs in our own country. Spending money adding teeth to legislation which criminalizes intended parents involved in surrogacy or gamete donation is wrong-headed. The same money should instead be spent supporting provincial regulation. Worry more about important things like donor registries, reporting OHSS levels and modernizing parentage laws, and worry less about whether or not a sperm donor is paid for a donation. What a waste. What a mistake. Read more

Where is the law securing equal legal parentage in LGBT families?

By Sara Cohen . June 10, 2015 marked twelve years since Ontario became the first province in Canada to recognize same-sex marriages. While Ontario led the way in 2003, it now lags behind many other provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta and soon Manitoba , in providing legal security regarding parentage in those same families. Ontario has failed to update its legislation to recognize the parentage of children conceived through the use of assisted reproductive technologies in the LGBT community (and sometimes in hetero-normative families, too). Read More at Fertility Law Canada Blog Read more

Cohen to speak at Crown Counsel Summer School

Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen is set to share her expertise on emerging issues in fertility law with crown counsel for the Province of Ontario at this year’s Crown Counsel Summer School, hosted by the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Legal Services Division. Read more

Cohen to discuss family establishment issues facing LGBT community

Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen will share her thoughts on current issues facing the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) family at an upcoming event hosted by the Fasken Martineau Pride Network. Read more

Cohen nominated as Changemaker for fertility law

Toronto fertility lawyer Sara Cohen as been nominated for inclusion in this year’s Top 25 Most Influential feature in Canadian Lawyer magazine for her role in changing the practice of fertility law in Canada and beyond. Read more