In January the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a child may have more than two legal parents.
In a landmark ruling, the court said that the biological mother of the child, the mother’s female partner, and the child’s biological father can all be listed as parents on the birth certificate. It is the first time in Canada that three parents will be recognized on a birth certificate.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, which includes the Christian Reformed Church, expressed an urgent need to study the impact when “longstanding social policies are changed to suit adult desires.”
EFC General Legal Counsel Don Hutchinson stated, “This is another unfortunate example of allowing the courts to make decisions in areas where the government should be determining public policy.”
Hutchinson noted a number of questions this ruling raises: How many legal parents may each child now have? What will determine the number of parents a child will legally have in cases of divorce and remarriage? Will the number of parents allowed per child now impact the number of spouses permitted in a marriage?
Douglas Cryer, EFC director of public policy, said, “Governments have been addressing the issue in a piecemeal fashion, leaving the hard choices to the courts. The government has failed to study the potential negative impact on children generally.”