Question Period: Medical Expenses and Parental Leave

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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East and West block of Parliament, Ottawa

Hon. Jane Cordy: Minister Gould, welcome to the Senate of Canada. Thank you for being with us today. My question is a follow-up to the question that I raised in this chamber to Senator Gold on February 10. During the last election, this government had committed to provide 15 weeks of adoptive leave for parents. However, for families built through surrogacy in certain provinces there is no adoption process. The names of the parents who use surrogates go directly on the birth certificate.

Could you provide us with the details on how the government intends to support all families built through surrogacy, given that different provinces and territories treat the surrogacy process differently, particularly in provinces where parents are not adopting their children but, rather, have their names directly on the birth certificate?

Hon. Karina Gould, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development: Certainly. Thank you very much for raising this issue, senator. I’m not the minister responsible specifically for this policy — that’s Minister Qualtrough — but I know that she is engaging right now on what a leave policy will look like for families who adopt as well as what it means for surrogacy. I know she’s engaging in consultations and has had several consultations. As you mentioned, sometimes these things are complicated because different provinces and territories have different policies. But I know this is something that she is looking at, and I would be happy to get more information for you and get it to you. As I said, I’m not the minister directly responsible, but I know that Minister Qualtrough is engaged on this matter.

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