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Promoting inclusion and recognition for all families

Professor Kévin Lavoie’s work seeks to shed light on family diversity and fight inequality and discrimination based on gender and sexuality.

Project architects

Kévin Lavoie

Assistant professor, School of Social Work and Criminology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Scientific director, Centre de recherche Jeunes, familles et réponses sociales (JEFAR)


PRÉFER study 
Research team: Rebecca Angele, Marie-Philippe Drouin, Thalie Pilon, and Maxime Plante
Supervisory committee: Nicholas Chadi and Lyne Chiniara (CHU Sainte-Justine), Isabel Côté (Université du Québec en Outaouais), Ky Fleming (Gender Creative Kids), and Annie Pullen Sansfaçon (Université de Montréal)

Collectif Récits
Group: Marie-Alexia Allard (Ensemble psychology clinic), Isabel Côté (Université du Québec en Outaouais), Juliana Léveillé-Trudel (Productions de brousse), Raphaële Noël (Université du Québec à Montréal), Gabrielle Jobin and Audrey Simard (Université Laval), as well as mothers and co-researchers Maryse, Gisèle, Marion, Élyse, Natacha, and Laurie.

How to regulate surrogacy

Surrogacy, or surrogate motherhood, is poorly regulated in Québec. Professor Lavoie is pushing the conversation on family law reform (Bill 2) forward, including by submitting a brief to the parliamentary committee. The brief covers different factors to consider for ethical regulation of surrogacy, looks at biological conception and raises awareness about coparenting. His work gives a voice to intended parents and their children and surrogate mothers and their families to promote family well-being.

Explaining sperm donation to children

There are many reasons to conceive a child through sperm donation, including male infertility, same-sex relationships, and single parenthood. But how do you tell children conceived with donated sperm where they came from and paint their conception in a positive light? A research group co-facilitated by Professor Lavoie is developing practical tools for families grappling with this question. The group will collaborate with parents, a clinical psychologist, and a writer on a children’s book that explains sperm donation in a thoughtful and inclusive way to meet the needs of families, and most importantly, answer children’s questions.

Discussing fertility preservation with trans and non-binary youth

Kévin Lavoie works with the CHU Sainte-Justine gender diversity clinic and Gender Creative Kids to support trans and non-binary youth through the gender affirmation process. His research on fertility preservation aims to provide young people with the tools they need to make decisions about preserving their sperm or eggs. Kévin Lavoie uses participatory and artistic research methods, including photovoice and memes that combine humour and photography, to start discussions and encourage participants to express their emotions.

The “Having a family in the 21st century: Scientific insight for family law reform that reflects modern families” brief was presented to Québec’s National Assembly.

The photovoice method is used in participatory action research and has participants use photography as a means of expression.

Professor Lavoie’s research group uses children’s books to explain conception by sperm donation to kids.

Kévin Lavoie demystifies sexual and gender diversity by participating in various awareness initiatives. 

What’s next

In the coming years, Kévin Lavoie will conduct more research projects involving families, including on their new realities and sexual and gender diversity. Among other things, he will be focusing on psychosocial intervention in the context of assisted reproduction and elective co-parenting (starting a family without being romantically involved). Professor Lavoie will also continue studying issues surrounding international surrogacy. He is motivated to promote family diversity and diverse family trajectories. He helps demystify the new realities of parenthood, amplify unheard voices, and advance the conversation.

Université Laval au coeur de nos vies


Apprenez-en plus les travaux de Kévin Lavoie qui visent à faire avancer les discussions et l’encadrement de la gestation pour autrui au Québec. 

ULaval Nouvelles article

Découvrez le parcours professionnel du Professeur Kévin Lavoie, de ses études jusqu’au fil conducteur de ses travaux de recherche : favoriser le bien être des groupes marginalisés.

Kévin Lavoie

Learn more about him.


Centre de recherche Jeunes, familles et réponses sociales (JEFAR)

Learn about the centre.


Graduate social work programs

Explore our programs.


Centre de recherche universitaire sur les jeunes et les familles (CRUJeF)

Learn about our ongoing projects.


Video on gender and sexual diversity

Learn more about other people’s lives.


More stories

Discover stories from other UL professors!