Three adults in polyamorous relationship declared legal parents of child

A legal first in Canada.


ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — In what is believed to be a legal first in Canada, a court in Newfoundland and Labrador has recognized three unmarried adults as the legal parents of a child born within their “polyamorous” family.

Polyamorous relationships are legal in Canada, unlike bigamy and polygamy, which involve people in two or more marriages.

Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court’s family division issued a decision saying the St. John’s family includes two men in a relationship with the mother of a child born in 2017.

The April 4 decision says the unconventional family has been together for three years, but the biological father of the child is unknown. The family members are not identified in the decision, which was released Thursday by the court.

The three adults turned to the courts after the province said only two parents could be listed on the child’s birth certificate.

In his decision, Fowler says the child was born into a stable family that is providing a nurturing environment, and he stressed that the court must consider what is in the child’s best interest.

“I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child’s point of view,” the decision says. “To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests.”

The Canadian Press


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