A very distressing story out of Canada that again highlights the importance of consulting with reputable professionals before proceeding with a cross-border reproductive arrangement:
A Chinese woman who tried to sponsor a sperm donor child without telling Canadian immigration officials has lost a bid to bring the baby here.
And, Toronto-area immigration lawyers said the precedent-setting case can open a floodgate of sponsorships involving surrogate moms.
Li Ping Tian, a divorcee, had made an arrangement with a Chinese sperm donor, an egg donor and surrogate mom to bring Jung Yang Tian (Christopher) into the world.
She tried to sponsor the child and bring him Canada, according to an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
“The arrangement came to light after DNA testing was requested by the visa officer,” stated a Dec. 1 ruling delivered by the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB. “The applicant is being cared for by the appellant in China but the child has not been adopted.”
Tian, a permanent resident, who now lives in B.C., accused the IRB of discrimination. Her lawyer argued the definition of a dependent child under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations is “discriminatory” and contrary to the Canadian Charter of Right and Freedoms because it does not include children born through a surrogate mother.
“This argument is flawed as all non-biological parents are treated the same and if they adopt, barring some other impediment,” board member Douglas Cochran said. “They are entitled to sponsor their adopted child. The issue of surrogacy is irrelevant.”
He ruled Tian is “putting the cart before the horse” by asking that Christopher be admitted into Canada before a determination of parentage is made by a court. Tian has to officially adopt Christopher before the child can be sponsored.
“While surrogacy may occur in China, it is not legally authorized and physicians who assist in this process are subject to fines,” the board said.
The board’s decision can be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.
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