Freudian slips can be found in Ontario’s ‘All Families Are Equal Act’
by John Sikkema
November 28, 2016 (ARPACanada) — Ontario law currently states that “for all purposes of the law of Ontario, a person is the child of his or her natural parents,” with the exception of adoption. But Bill 28, the “All Families Are Equal Act”, would erase this basic rule and remove the terms “mother,” “father,” and “natural parents” from all Ontario statutes in the process, replacing them simply with “parent.” The bill is expected to reach a final vote soon.
It’s important that we get our new family law terms straight. It’s easy to get confused, as even the bill’s drafters did. The Standing Committee on Social Policy, which recently reviewed the bill, had to correct a few of the drafters’ blunders.
The main issue here: Who is a “parent” according to Bill 28?
Simply providing “reproductive material or an embryo for use in the conception of a child through assisted reproduction” does not make one a parent.
A child’s “birth parent,” a term the untrained mind might auto-miscorrect to “birth mother,” is a parent unless she (or he) has agreed to be a surrogate and relinquishes parentage shortly after the child is born. If the “birth parent” refuses to relinquish parentage, a court can deal with that problem by declaring (up to four) “intended parents” signatory to the surrogacy agreement (or anyone else, in fact) to be the child’s parents.
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