Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ontario in Breach of Charter

It was bound to happen and it's about time it did [Globe & Mail, Two mothers should be allowed on birth document, judge says]:

An Ontario judge struck down a birth registry provision yesterday that prevents lesbian couples from being registered as parents of babies conceived through artificial insemination, saying that the regulation causes them unjustified "pain and hardship."

Mr. Justice Paul Rivard of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the province violated the litigants' right to equality by stopping them from adding their names to the Statement of Live Births after their babies are born.

When I previously took the Liberal Party to task for not legislating same-sex adoption, I highlighted Ontario's adoption policy as being one I support for its inclusiveness. The Ontario regulations for adoption go as follows [Ministry of Children and Youth Services, How to Adopt a Child in Ontario]:

All Ontario residents are able to adopt a child without discrimination on the basis of such factors as race, religion, age, ethnic origin, mental/physical disability, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status. In intercountry adoptions, the Ministry makes every effort to ensure that adoptive applicants are informed about the laws, requirements, and eligibility criteria of the foreign jurisdiction.

I guess the distinction is between adoption and birth registration, in this ruling.

Ontario should move quickly to remove this impediment restricting same-sex parents. It seems to me, if the mother of one child wishes their partner, male or female, to be an official parent in the eyes of the law, the law should be consistent. We should be applauding that another adult wants to take parental responsibility for a child in identically the same way as adoption.

Allow the partner on the birth registry.

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