Gestational Surrogacy

Adoption and surrogacy are significant, positive and life changing experiences. Soby Boyden Lenz has over forty years of experience in assisting new parents in both navigating the processes and fulfilling the legal requirements to effect your adoption or surrogate arrangements.


Adoptions in Alberta can be classified as either open or closed. Open adoptions allow for the adoptive and biological parents to meet each other. Open adoptions often involve an informal arrangement among the parties whereby the biological parents are able to receive and send letters and photos to and from the family with whom their child was placed. In some instances, open adoptions permit non-binding visitation rights. Closed adoptions are just that, they do not permit the same flow of information between biological and adoptive parents. Adoptions in Alberta are governed by the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

There are three avenues in which to complete an open adoption in Alberta, namely; step parent adoptions, direct placement adoptions and adoptions through an agency. Direct placement adoptions include situations in which the couple wishing to adopt has made arrangements to do so with an expectant mother.

Pursuant to Alberta's Adult Adoption Act, children of step or foster parents and adult adoptees who have been reconnected with their birth families are able to complete "adult adoptions."

Although not legally required, adult adoptions are often of great importance and hold tremendous sentimental value to those involved. The lawyers at Soby Boyden Lenz can assist you if you are interested in completing either an open or adult adoption.


Surrogacy is a process whereby a woman carries a baby for another person or persons. There are different types of surrogacy such as donor egg surrogacy, donor sperm surrogacy, genetic surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.Traditional surrogacy involves a women who is artificially inseminated. Her own egg is fertilized with the intention that she will give up the child.

Surrogacy is legal in Canada; however, there are significant restrictions and limitations surrounding the process. It is therefore crucial to consult with a family lawyer regarding the legislation surrounding this developing field.

We recommend that the intended parents and surrogate enter into a surrogate contract, stipulating the intentions and legal rights and responsibilities of each party. In Alberta, the Family Law Act recognizes assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and this legislation governs the legal issue of defining who will be a parent. Another important statute is the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act.

Surrogacy law is a complex and evolving area of law. It crosses international borders, and it allows families the opportunity to have children enter their lives where previously they were unable to for a variety of reasons, whether a couple is LGBTQ, infertile, or for health risk reasons.