Assisted Human Reproduction – Legislation and guidelines

It is estimated that up to one in eight Canadian couples experiences infertility.  Increasingly, Canadians experiencing infertility as well as single parents and same-sex couples are turning to assisted human reproduction (AHR) procedures to help build their families.

This section provides information about AHR and the federal government's work in this area.

Health Canada is the Canadian federal authority responsible for developing policy and regulations under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act and for administering and enforcing the Act and its regulations.  Prior to October 1, 2012, Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC) was responsible for administering and enforcing the Act and its regulations.  However, in Budget 2012, the Government of Canada announced that it would wind down AHRC, in response to the 2010 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada that significantly reduced the federal role in assisted human reproduction.

If you have a question about the Assisted Human Reproduction Act or wish to make a complaint or allegation of non-compliance with the Act, you can contact Health Canada in one of the following ways:

By Mail:
Health Canada
Address Locator 0900C2
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Telephone: 613-957-2991
Toll free: 1-866-225-0709
Facsimile: 613-941-5366
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Legislation and Regulations

  • An Act respecting assisted human reproduction and related research - on March 29, 2004, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act received Royal Assent. It was amended by the Budget Implementation Act which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012.
  • Sections 5-9 of the Act list prohibited activities related to AHR that Parliament has deemed to be ethically unacceptable, incompatible with Canadian values or that may pose significant human health and safety risks to Canadians.  The prohibitions under Sections 5, 6, 7, and 9 came into force on April 22, 2004.
  • Section 8 of the Act, which pertains to prohibitions on the use of sperm or eggs or in vitro embryos without "consent to use", came into force along with its supporting regulations on December 1, 2007.

Fact Sheets on Prohibitions


  • Glossary - The following are explanations of terms used on this website. These explanations are meant to be guidelines only and are not formal definitions.
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