By Gudrun Schultz

TORONTO, Ontario, September 27, 2006 ( – The Ontario Court of Appeal is considering a petition by a woman in London, Ontario, to be granted legal recognition as the third parent of her lesbian partner’s five year old son, the Globe and Mail reported Wednesday.

The boy lives with the two women, who have been together since 1992. His biological father is an active participant in raising the child, seeing him twice a week.

The woman (all names are protected by a court ruling) first applied for the same rights as a biological parent three years ago, but the Family Court ruled it did not have the authority to make the decision. The woman wants full legal rights as a parent without removing the parenting rights of the boy’s father.

The appeal argues that the law’s failure to allow for three parents discriminates against same-sex couples because it relies on a biological definition of parenthood, violating equality guarantees under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“It’s discriminatory, because one [member of a same-sex couple] gets legally recognized—the biological mother—but the non-biological mother, who is equally part of the process except for the biological bits, can’t be legally recognized even though they both decided to have a child, planned for the child, and they both jointly parent the child,” the woman’s lawyer, Peter Jervis, told the Globe and Mail.

The Alliance for Marriage and Family, a coalition of pro-family organizations including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Christian Legal Fellowship, REAL Women and Focus on the Family, filed a factum in the case arguing that such a radical change to the definition of parenthood must be undertaken by the provincial parliament, not by the courts.

“Our position is that under family law in Canada, children can only have two parents and that has been the situation even with adoption or divorce and remarriage,” said Janet Epp Buckingham, director of law and public policy with the EFC. “This would be a fairly significant change to the law; it wouldn’t be appropriate for the court to do this. You would need to have the full hearings in the provincial parliament and it should be a legislated change.”

Read press release by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada:

Read AMF factum:
  Read coverage by the Globe and Mail:

See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:


Ontario Well on Way to Declaring More Than Two Legal Parents For Children