Table of contents

Prologue | The Story Begins
Part One | IVF: The Beginning of a Modern Human Reproduction Revolution
Chapter 1 | In vitro Fertilization
Chapter 2 | Establishing Rules for IVF
Chapter 3 | The Federal Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies
Chapter 4 | The Federal Government’s Response
Chapter 5 | The Constitutional Division of Powers in Canada
Chapter 6 | The Court Challenges to the Act
Chapter 7 | The Law in Limbo
Part Two | Provincial Legislation: Assisted Human Reproduction and the Changing Definitions of Family
Chapter 8 | Provincial and Territorial Laws Respond
Chapter 9 | The Provinces and Territories Amend Their Family Laws
Chapter 10 | The Legal Status of a Child in Canada
Part Three | Research on Human Embryos
Chapter 12 | Research and the Human Embryo
Chapter 12 | Stem Cell Research
Chapter 13 | Legal Issues: Genetic Testing and Discrimination
Chapter 14 | Genome Editing — Research and Reproduction
Chapter 15 | The Birth of Children with an Altered Genome and the International Responses
Part Four | Looking to the Future
Chapter 16 | Public Policy and Legal Challenges Ahead
Chapter 17 | Conclusion
Appendix 1 | Provincial Fertility Coverage Regimes
Appendix 2 | The Status of the 2004 Assisted Human Reproduction Act Provisions
Appendix 3 | 2004 Assisted Human Reproduction Act Regulations —Coming into Force (CIF)
Appendix 4 | Judicial Decisions — Treatment of Human Embryos and Organs in Tax Cases
Appendix 5 | The Provincial Legislative Definitions of Tissue
Appendix 6 | Consent, Refusal, Embryo as Property
Additional Sources


In Fertility: 40 Years of Change, lawyer and author Maureen McTeer explores key medical, research, and legal developments in assisted human reproduction since the birth of the first IVF baby in 1978. With keen insight, she analyses how Canada has responded to the many legal and societal opportunities this foundational reproductive technology has created, such as new types of human relationships; the treatment of infertility; human embryo research; and the revolutionary possibilities for society raised by the combination of reproductive and genetic technologies, as we create, manipulate, and alter human life in the laboratory.


“In this very informative, accessible, and well-written book on assisted human reproductive and genetic technologies and research, author and lawyer Maureen McTeer tells the story of how we got here and challenges us to look into the future. This is an exceptional book on complex health policy questions.”

- Dr. Arthur Leader, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

“I share with Maureen McTeer the overarching goal to make information on the ethical, legal and social challenges of reproductive and genetic technologies and research readily available to all Canadians.”

- Françoise Baylis, CM, ONS, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, University Research Professor, Dalhousie University; author of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing