Nova Scotia Scratches Out “Father” On Birth Certificates for “Father/Other Parent”

By Peter J. Smith

  HALIFAX, September 24, 2007 ( - Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative government rapidly approved new regulations, effective immediately, allowing birth certificates to register a lesbian "spouse" of a birth mother as the "other parent." The decision was made in cabinet only four days after the couple launched a human rights complaint.

  Halifax scrambled to make adjustments to the Vital Statistics Act after a "married" lesbian couple, Emily and Jamie O’Neill, filed a Human Rights complaint demanding the province recognize them equally as parents to Emily’s newborn daughter, Jordyn, who was conceived through artificial insemination and born August 7. Since the old regulations listed a newborn baby’s "father" and "mother," Jamie would have needed to adopt Jordyn in order to acquire the same legal rights as Emily.

"In light of court decisions there would be no point in delaying anything," said Service Nova Scotia Minister Jamie Muir according to the Canadian Press. "The courts decided it was right to do and under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms this is the right thing to do and the province wants to do the right thing."

  Previously homosexual human rights complaints in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario forced the provinces to change vital statistics regulations, while Manitoba and Quebec voluntarily changed the process of birth registration.

  Muir said the government altered its regulations after a Thursday cabinet meeting.

"We were trying to find the most effective and efficient way to do this and we found out last week that we are able to do this through regulation, so regulation was the process that we chose."
  The sweeping changes affecting all Nova Scotia society will benefit approximately four homosexual couples at this time according to Muir. Effective immediately, newborn children no longer have merely a "father," but a "father/other parent" listed on their birth certificates.

  Halifax’s innovative solution, however, to the latest hurdle in refashioning family structure without a basis in nature, still allows newborns the stability of keeping a "mother" on their birth certificate. This last concession from the government may not endure long if male-homosexual couples decide to file their own human rights complaint demanding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms redress the notion that a child naturally has the right to a "mother."

  As well, the solution does not address the possible situation of a sperm donor father or surrogate mother also claiming parenthood such as occurred in the recent three parent case which resulted in a child being legally assigned 3 parents. With the growing likelihood of polygamy legalization and eventual recognition of polyamorous relationships, additional, new and interesting challenges to Canada’s very flexible legal definition of family are likely.

  Thanks to the provincial government’s quick action, the O’Neills save the time and stress of a $3,000 adoption process, the government avoids a losing battle with the Human Rights Commission, and homosexual couples in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada can rest secure knowing that what Nature proposes, a human rights complaint disposes.

In the meantime, how the increasing numbers of children raised in these relationships are affected does not appear to be considered as important a factor as the rights of newly defined "parents".

See related articles:

“Gay” Subculture Left Woman Scarred from Childhood in Homosexual Home

  Same-Sex Parenting is Harmful to Children Says REAL Women of Canada

  Experts Worldwide Find Gay Adoption Harmful for Children

  Moving Letter from Child of Ex-Lesbian: "Why this sperm bank child opposes same sex marriage"

"Conclusive" Report by American Academy of Pediatrics on Homosexual Adoption Shown to be Full of Holes

  Ontario Court Rules Five-Year Old Has Three Legal Parents – Father, Mother, Lesbian Partner

  The Broken Windows Theory of Marriage

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