Vancouver baby first to have three legal parents under new BC legislation
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, February 11, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a first for British Columbia, a three-month-old baby girl born in Vancouver has three people, her biological father and a lesbian couple, listed as her parents on her birth certificate.
British Columbia’s new Family Law Act, which came into force last year, allowed a child to have three parents listed on the birth certificate. The law requires a prior written agreement between the birth mother, her spouse or partner, and the donor.
Birth mother Danielle Wiley, along with her lesbian "wife" Anna Richards, drew up such an agreement with Shawn Kangro. Wiley told the National Post she used Kangro's sperm to impregnate herself using a syringe and gave birth to a girl, who they named Della, on October 23, 2013.
Although B.C. is the first province to legalize having more than 2 people listed as parents on a birth certificate, an Ontario court ruled in 2006 that a five-year-old boy had three legal parents - his father, mother, and a lesbian partner - which made him the first official three-parent child in Canada.
On January 2, 2006, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling by granting the boy’s father, biological mother and the mother’s lesbian partner equal rights and responsibilities under law.
A lower court ruling on the case in 2003 said the Ontario Children’s Law Reform Act could not be interpreted as recognizing more than two persons as parents by birth or adoption.
In that ruling, Justice David Aston said at the time that allowing more than two parents “might open the floodgates to similar claims from step-parents or members of the child’s extended family.”
“If a child can have three parents,” Aston wrote, “why not four or six or a dozen? What about all the adults in a commune or a religious organization or sect? Quite apart from social policy implications, the potential to create or exacerbate custody and access litigation should not be ignored.”
However, the Court of Appeal’s decision written by Justice Marc Rosenberg found that the existing law did not take into account changes to Canadian society that affected parenting, leaving what he called a serious “gap.”
Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer of Campaign Life Coalition said, “The courts must not continue to acquiesce to the homosexual agenda, but rather, must consider the fact that a child deserves a father and a mother in a stable relationship for the child’s nurturing,” in response to Rosenberg's decision.
“Attacks on the family unit will ultimately lead to the destruction of our society. Where will the line be drawn on such multiple parent rulings, and what is the future environment for our children?” Douglas said.
The Catholic Civil Rights League, which participated in the Ontario Court of Appeal case as an intervener, pointed out that the effect of triple-parent arrangements on children is entirely unknown, and is there a lack of clarity as to what will happen to the children if the adults’ relationships should break down.
“It is clear that courts will be asked to fill in many gaps that exist in traditional understandings of family, as a result of changes to the definition of marriage, and parent, in Canadian law,” said League President Phil Horgan at the time.
The new BC Family Law Act in fact states that if there is a dispute or uncertainty as to what persons are actually a child's parents under the new law, litigation seeking an order declaring whether or not a person is a child's parent may go all the way to the Supreme Court.