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Digest of the Week | Parentage and Guardianship

Cabianca v. British Columbia (Registrar General of Vital Statistics) | 2019 BCSC 2010 | British Columbia Supreme Court

Family law --- Parentage and guardianship — Registration of birth

Petitioners M, E and N were residents of British Columbia — E and N were living in committed same-sex relationship — M was close friend of E and N and provided semen donations for E and N's two children — Semen donation agreement provided that M, E and N would be listed as parents on Registration of Birth — After birth of first child, Registrar was unable to register birth identifying M, E, and N as parents, because agreement was not signed before conception of child — E and N registered child's birth with Registrar as child's parents — Parties entered into pre-conception agreement before second child was conceived — After birth of second child, E and N registered online as parents of child because online registration only allowed for two parents — Petitioners brought application for declarations that M, E and N were parents of children — Application granted — Section 30 of Family Law Act (FLA) articulated how parentage was determined in context of assisted reproduction if parties contemplated another arrangement for parenting — Section 30(1)((c)(ii) provided that parries to agreement would be parents of child — Section 30(3) provided that agreement was revoked if not signed before child was conceived — However, s. 31(3) of FLA provided that, to extent possible, order must give effect to rules respecting determination of parentage — Wording of s. 31(3) was broad enough to grant court jurisdiction to correct mistakes that resulted in non-compliance with requirements in s. 30 — It was contrary to first child's best interests, and to liberal and purposive interpretation of FLA, to hold parties to high standard in terms of drafting agreements — First child's birth registration should reflect parents' intentions — M was added as parent on first child's birth registration — Due to pre-conception agreement, M, E and N fell within s. 30 of FLA and M was entitled to be registered on second child's birth registration — M was not registered because online registration process only allowed for two parents — Registrar had authority under Vital Statistics Act to correct technical errors on birth registration — Pursuant to s. 31 of FLA, declaration was granted that M was parent of second child.

C.P.B. v. L.M.B. | 2019 SKQB 306 | Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Family law --- Parentage and guardianship — Determination of parentage — Assisted reproductive technology

Petitioners C and T were same sex married couple — C and T wished to have child and arranged with respondents L and D for L to be impregnated with embryo and bear child to birth — Embryo was created with sperm from C and an ova or egg from unidentified female donor by in vitro fertilization — Child was born on November 6, 2019 and was in care of C and T — Other Parent Registration of Live Birth form was completed with L entered as Mother, C entered as Father, and T as Other Parent — L and D relinquished all parental rights with respect to child — C and T brought application without notice for declarations confirming parentage of child — Application dismissed — Most important factor was best interests of child — Supporting materials provided some evidence and assurance that C and T were willing and able to care for child as parents — Court had jurisdiction to hear application — Including biological mother who donated ova, there were five possible parents for child — Court should be satisfied that surrogacy arrangement did not contravene law — There should be independent legal advice supporting consent of L and D and status of biological mother should be explained — There was also matter of lack of notice to Registrar of Vital Statistics — Without notice application was dismissed with leave to bring with notice application on seven days' notice — Application should be served on L and D, and Registrar of Vital Statistics.
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