'Tony Danza is My Sperm Donor?': Queer Kinship and the Impact of Canadian Regulations around Sperm Donation
Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Volume 25, Number 2, 2013, pp. 221-248 (2014)
29 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2014 Last revised: 12 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 15, 2014
Based upon an empirical research study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer (LGBTQ) people accessing reproductive technology, this article aims to lay out some concerns around the use of third-party donor sperm in Canada. It tracks the new forms of lateral kinships being created and the ways in which they may exert a differentiated impact on LGBTQ communities. The article overviews relevant federal regulations and legislation and uses this grounding to investigate the case study of a lesbian couple in Toronto and their experience with anonymous donor sperm imported from the United States. Their story helps to highlight the many lacuna that exist in the present regulatory regime and demonstrates how LGBTQ people are placed disproportionately at the fore of these pressing legal gaps. Ultimately, while the article argues that the effects of poorly crafted legislation around semen donation may be pronounced in LGBTQ communities, these effects may be experienced by all users of anonymous third-party sperm. By centering the queer family at the heart of the analysis, however, this article calls for a fresh look at how reproductive projects through assisted technology are being pursued under the present Canadian legal regime.
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