${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

Same-Sex Parental Rights On The Horizon?

When a heterosexual couple has a child, establishing parental rights is pretty straightforward - register the birth and walk away with baby in tow. But for those of the LGBT community, gaining parental rights for both parties requires jumping through a series of costly, time-consuming legal hoops. But Premier Kathleen Wynn is vowing to effect changes by year-end.

Complications Arising From The Definition Of "Parent"

Ontario legislation currently contains a gender-specific definition of "parents". Birth registrations allow for a "mother" and a "father/other". But when a same-sex couple has a natural child, three players make up the picture - the biological parent, his or her same-sex partner and the egg or sperm donor.

The legal complexities can be seen in the example of a lesbian couple. After the birth, the birth mother has automatic parental rights. But were she to die on the operating table, her wife would have no legal relationship with the baby and would not be permitted to take it home as her own. Even years later, the non-birth mother could not legally take the couple's child for a doctor's visit.

Where the donor's identity is unknown to the couple, the non-birth mother can be classed under the "other" category in birth registrations. But if the couple knows the donor, the couple is faced with two options: have the non-birth mother formally adopt the child, or head to court to have her declared a "parent". Both processes are encumbered by expense, time and the stress of riding out the two-month window during which the donor may decide to re-enter the picture and exert his rights as the biological father.

Change In The Offing

The issues have been debated for years. Meanwhile, same-sex parents continue to struggle with birth-registration red tape and a host of other legal hurdles such as obtaining employment insurance maternity/paternity benefits. But if the Premier has her way, same-sex parents could be sailing smoother waters by the end of the year.

Need help with same-sex family law issues?

Call us up.

We can help.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

shameless self promotion

  • Quinn Ross Takes Office As President Of The Ontario Bar Association

    The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) is pleased to announce Quinn Ross as the 83rd President of the OBA.

    Ross, Managing Partner of The Ross Firm, with offices in Goderich, Kincardine and Stratford, has been an active member in senior roles on the OBA board since 2012.

    Read More

  • Ross Firm Golf Tourney In Support of Huron Women’s Shelter a Swinging Success

    On behalf of the Huron Women’s Shelter and The Ross Firm P.C., we say “THANK YOU” to our many Sponsors and Donators for their outpouring of generosity and support for the annual Take a Swing Against Violence Golf Tournament held at Goderich Sunset Golf Club.

    Read More

  • Who needs a Will? You do!

    Our guests can explain why. Are you single and renting? A new Family? Or Homeowner? Enjoying your Golden Years? We all need a Will and our guest speakers will show you the why and the way.

    Read More

  • Take a Swing Against Violence

    On June 21, 2017, the Huron Women’s Shelter Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services, Board of Directors and The Ross Firm will be hosting the Taking a Swing Against Violence golf tournament at the Goderich Sunset Golf Course.

    Read More

View All

Send Us An Email. Talk To Us. We Can Help.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers, contact The Ross Firm online or give us a call toll free at 888-567-4917.

Contact Us

Goderich Office
144 Courthouse Square
Suite 100
Goderich, ON N7A 1M9

Toll Free: 888-567-4917
Fax: 519-524-8438
Map & Directions

Stratford Office
1 Ontario Street
2nd Floor
Stratford, ON N5A 3G7

Toll Free: 888-567-4917
Fax: 519-814-5533
Map & Directions

Kincardine Office
943 Queen Street
Kincardine, ON N2Z 2Y8

Phone: 226-396-5532
Fax: 226-396-5533
Map & Directions