Judge Rules Polyamorous Lovers Are All Legal Parents of Canadian Child

Caleb Tolin | June 18, 2018
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A court in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada ruled that three unmarried adults, two men and one woman, are all now legal parents of a child born to the female partner in 2017.

Polyamory is legal in Canada as a practice, though polygamy is not. The Canadian Research Institute defines polyamory as “people who are polyamorous are, or prefer to be, involved in more than one intimate relationship at a time,” but are not, and cannot be, legally married.

Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court's Family Division, said in the ruling, “Society is continuously changing and family structures are changing along with it.”

The judge defied the Children’s Law Act of 1997, which states that only two parents can be listed on a child’s birth certificate. He argued that the law signed a little over two decades ago, can’t keep up with the “now complex family relationships that are common and accepted in our society.”

The judge didn’t think the child would suffer in any way from having more than two parents and said that it in no way, “detracts from the best interests of the child.”

This isn’t the first time a court has ruled in favor of more than two parents. In 2007, an Ontario court ruled that the lesbian partner of the biological mother could be listed as the third legal parent of the child along with the father. But, in this case, the two women were not living with the father.