Assisted human reproduction
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- Assisted human reproduction in Canada
- The Assisted Human Reproduction Act
- Strengthening the Assisted Human Reproduction Act
- Compliance and Enforcement
- Contact us
Assisted human reproduction in Canada
Canadians experiencing infertility, single parents, and same-sex couples are increasingly turning to assisted human reproduction (AHR) procedures to help build their families.
Health Canada is responsible for developing policy and regulations under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act). We administer and enforce the Act and its regulations.
The AHR Act received Royal Assent in 2004 and was designed to protect and promote the health, safety, dignity, and rights of Canadians who use or are born of AHR technology. The AHR Act achieves this purpose by setting out prohibited activities related to assisted human reproduction that may pose significant human health and safety risks to Canadians or that are deemed to be ethically unacceptable or incompatible with Canadian values.
The Assisted Human Reproduction Act
- Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations
- Reimbursement Related to Assisted Human Reproduction Regulations
- Administration and Enforcement (Assisted Human Reproduction Act) Regulations
- Assisted Human Reproduction (Section 8 Consent) Regulations
Health Canada Directive
- Guidance Document: Interim Compliance Approach Regarding Donor Ova Processed Prior to February 4, 2020
- Guidance Document - Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations
- Guidance Document - Reimbursement Related to Assisted Human Reproduction Regulations
- Prohibitions related to scientific research and clinical applications
- Prohibitions related to Purchasing Reproductive Material and Purchasing or Selling In Vitro Embryos
- Prohibitions related to Surrogacy
- Consent to Use Human Reproductive Material and In Vitro Embryos
Strengthening the Assisted Human Reproduction Act
In 2016, recognizing the need to strengthen the federal regulatory framework governing AHR in Canada, Health Canada announced its intention to bring into force sections 10 (safety of donor sperm and ova), 12 (reimbursement) and 45 to 58 (administration and enforcement) of the AHR Act and to develop the necessary supporting regulations. Those regulations were published in Canada Gazette, Part II on June 26, 2019.
Sections 45 to 58 of the AHR Act came into force on June 9, 2019, along with the Administration and Enforcement (Assisted Human Reproduction Act) Regulations.
Section 10 of the AHR Act came into force on February 4, 2020, along with most provisions of the Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations. The Health Canada Directive entitled "Technical Requirements for Conducting the Suitability Assessment of Sperm and Ova Donors, which has been incorporated by reference into these regulations, also took effect on that date.
Section 12 of the AHR Act came into force on June 9, 2020, along with the Reimbursement Related to Assisted Human Reproduction Regulations.
- October 2016: Notice of Intent
- July 2017: Strengthening the Assisted Human Reproduction Act
- October 2018: Consultation on the proposed AHR regulations
- June 2019: Consultation on draft Guidance Document: Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations
- June 2019: Consultation on draft Guidance Document: Reimbursement Related to Assisted Human Reproduction Regulations
While no longer in force, information from the following sources may be needed to determine whether sperm processed prior to the coming into force of the Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations may be distributed, imported or used:
- Processing and Distribution of Semen for Assisted Conception Regulations
- Health Canada Directive: Technical Requirements for Therapeutic Donor Insemination
For more information about the Transitional Provisions in the Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations, please consult the Guidance Document - Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations.
Compliance and Enforcement
For information on compliance and enforcement of the AHR Act and its regulations, as well as how to submit a formal complaint, please visit the Compliance and Enforcement page.
If you have a question about the Assisted Human Reproduction Act you can contact Health Canada in one of the following ways:
Office of Policy and International Collaboration
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 0601B
100 Eglantine Driveway
Toll free: 1-866-225-0709
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