Quebec authorises recourse to “phantom surrogate mothers”

Publié le 22 Jan, 2016

On 14 January, the Quebec Court of Appeal made a “major” judgment authorising “a homosexual couple to adopt the child born to a surrogate mother”. In 2014, the two men asked a female friend to carry the child conceived by IVF. At the request of the surrogate mother, only the name of the biological father appeared on the birth certificate with the mother being listed as “unknown”. In Quebec, “recourse to a surrogate mother is legal in certain circumstances. Consequently, under adoption, a surrogate mother identified as the biological  mother can be asked to formally consent to the adoption”. The request for adoption by the other partner was therefore refused in April 2015 by the Youth Division.  The latter reproached the couple for having concealed the mother’s identity.


The Court of Appeal reversed the decision“upholding that each person involved had acted in good faith with no evidence of any conspiracy on their part”. With this decision, the Court of Appeal “is facilitating access to anonymous surrogate mothers and the adoption of children by homosexual couples”. Alain Roy, Law Professor at Montreal University“believes that this judgment sets an ‘extremely worrying’ precedent by granting access to ‘phantom’ surrogate mothers. He explained that, “from the intended parents’ perspective, this approach is more straightforward because the surrogate mother is no longer on the scene (…) but I am seriously worried for the two most vulnerable people in this process – the mother and child”.

Le journal de montréal (23/01/2016) ; Le Soleil (23/01/2016)

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