Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

IN DEPTH: Reproductive Technologies

MPs consider rules for reproductive technologies

Canadian Broadcasting Coorporation (CBC) October 28, 2003

TORONTO - The House of Commons debated a bill Friday that could make it Read More ..mplicated for infertile couples to have a baby.

Bill C-13 deals with many topics, including embryonic stem cells research and cloning.

The reproductive rules could have a major impact on some Canadian families. Under the bill, couples wouldn't be able to pay for donated eggs.

Like more than 1,500 Canadian babies born every year, Claire and Angelique Lawrence of Toronto were conceived through invitro fertilization (IVF).

Their births were made possible when Lori Hickling donated her healthy eggs to an infertile couple. In exchange, they paid for her IVF treatments.

The procedure costs $7,000 a shot and about four or five attempts are needed, said Burke Lawrence, the girls' father.

Bill C-13 prohibits:
- any kind of buying or selling of eggs, sperm and embryos
- sex selection unless it's to prevent a sex-linked disease
- paying surrogate mothers for more than lost income or expenses without receipts.

Dr. Art Leader, an infertility specialist in Ottawa, supports the legislation in general. But he doesn't think people will volunteer to donate sperms and eggs and he fears the supply may dry up.

"Within two years, 6,000 to 7,000 couples would be denied donor sperm for fertility treatment, and then there'd be probably another 1,000 couples a year who couldn't benefit from egg donation," Leader said.

Dr. Patricia Baird

Dr. Patricia Baird headed the Royal Commission on Reproductive Technology back in the early 1990s. She says when people talk about paying for donated sperm and eggs, they need to think about the children who are created in the process.

"To know that your biological father or progenitor actually did this for money is a different way of coming in to the world than knowing that someone was sympathetic with people who couldn't have a family," said Baird of the University of British Columbia.

Hickling and Laurence say they're relieved they were able to complete their family before the legislation was introduced. They've kept two embryos frozen in case they want to have more children.

National Post

Ontario's child financial support collection agency has big problems

Ontario's Family Responsibility Office has many problems

Quote from Ontario Government Ombudsman -"an equal opportunity error-prone program,."'

Support recipients not getting their money.

Men who've been meeting their court-ordered obligations have trouble getting the FRO to stop taking payments when it's supposed to.   Read More ..

National Post logo

Pilloried, broke, alone

March 25, 2000

Divorced fathers get a bad rap for not supporting their children. The truth is, many can't. And, tragically, some are driven to desperate measures, including suicide.

In his suicide note, Jim, the father of four children, protests that "not all fathers are deadbeats." Jim hanged himself because he couldn't see any alternative. Even now, his children are unaware of the circumstances of their father's death. Meeno Meijer, National Post George Roulier is fighting to regain money wrongfully taken from his wages by the Ontario child-support collection agency. Chris Bolin, National Post Alan Heinz, a Toronto firefighter, has gone bankrupt fighting for the return of his daughter, 3, from Germany. No one will help him, but German authorities are trying to collect child support from him.

Whenever fathers and divorce are discussed, one image dominates: the 'deadbeat dad,' the schmuck who'd rather drive a sports car than support his kids. Because I write about family matters, I'm regularly inundated with phone calls, faxes, letters and e-mail from divorced men. It's not news that divorced individuals have little good to say about their ex-spouses. What I'm interested in is whether the system assists people during this difficult time in their lives, or compounds their misery. From the aircraft engineer in British Columbia, to the postal worker on the prairies, to the fire fighter in Toronto, divorced fathers' stories are of a piece: Though society stereotypes these men relentlessly, most divorced dads pay their child support. Among those who don't, a small percentage wilfully refuse to (the villains you always hear about).

What you haven't been told is that the other men in arrears are too impoverished to pay, have been ordered to pay unreasonable amounts, have been paying for unreasonable lengths of time, or are the victims of bureaucratic foul-ups. Read More ..

Calgary Sun newspaper logo

Non-dad on hook for support

Edmonton and Calgary Sun
Feb 5, 2005

EDMONTON -- An Edmonton judge has decided a divorced dad has to make child support payments, even though the child isn't his. Justin Sumner had an on-again-off-again relationship with the woman he eventually married, Dawn Sumner.

She already had a child from a previous relationship with a man named Rob Duncan, and as she and Justin broke up and reunited, Dawn was sexually involved with both men.

When she found she was pregnant, she called Justin, who recognized there was a possibility that Duncan was the father, but later concluded he was the dad.

Father Committeed Suicide after calling Family Responsibility Office

Andrew T. Renouf committed suicide on or about October 17, 1995 because he had 100% of his wages taken by the Family Responsibility Office, a child support collection agency of the Government of Ontario, Canada.

He asked for assistance for food and shelter from the welfare office and was refused because he had a job, even though all of his wages were taken by the Family Responsibility Office.

Andy was a loving father that hadn't seen his daughter in 4 years.

A memorial service was held in October, 1998, for Andy in front of the Family Responsibility Office at 1201 Wilson Avenue, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is in the Ministry of Transportation grounds in the Keele St. & Hwy 401 area. All members of the Ontario Legislature were invited by personal letter faxed to their offices. Not one turned up. The Director of the Family Responsibility Office and his entire staff were invited to the brief service. The Director refused and wouldn't let the staff attend the service although it was scheduled for lunch time. There was a peaceful demonstration by followed by a very touching service by The Reverend Alan Stewart. The text of the service will soon be able to be read below.

The service made the TV evening news.

It was Andy's last wish that his story be told to all. YOU CAN READ HIS SUICIDE NOTE