Polyamorous relationships and the best interests of the child

Blog Post
August 23, 2018
Read Time: 3 minutes

The law is getting better at acknowledging and protecting family configurations that range beyond the nuclear, such as single parents and same-sex parents. However, there are some family units that the law has been slow to recognise. A case before the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court looked at three adults in a polyamorous relationship.

Canadian Infertility Awareness Week

Blog Post
April 26, 2018
Read Time: 1 minute

This week is Canadian Infertility Awareness Week. Did you know that Nelligan O’Brien Payne has a strong and talented group of lawyers practising in fertility law matters? Below are links to some of our recent blog posts.

Defining (and Redefining) the Meaning of “Spouse”

Blog Post
February 1, 2018
Read Time: 2 minutes

The definition of “spouse” is constantly being honed and refined. Over the last twelve months, the Ontario legislature has been attempting to update the definition of “spouse”, in order to make it as inclusive as possible.

When having a baby is a team effort

Blog Post
September 28, 2017
Read Time: 4 minutes

A surrogacy arrangement typically involves a few extra players who wouldn’t be present in a traditional pregnancy. Fertility specialists, lab technicians, sperm or egg donors and a surrogate and her loved ones come on board to assist a family in creating a new life. While it’s amazing to see how having a baby becomes a team effort, each new person who enters the equation increases the odds of a misunderstanding or miscommunication escalating into a dispute.

Co-Mommas: A Historic Declaration of Parentage

Blog Post
February 23, 2017
Read Time: 2 minutes

What happens when two people who are not in a romantic relationship want to raise a child together? Does the law recognize these kinds of parents? In a Canadian first, our very own Marta Siemiarczuk assisted Natasha Bakht and Lynda Collins in asking the court to declare them as co-mothers of Natasha’s son, Elaan.

Bill 28: How Does It Change Ontario’s Parentage Laws?

Blog Post
December 1, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

Earlier this week, the government passed Bill 28, the All Families Are Equal Act. This legislation will be proclaimed in force on January 1, 2017. It amends the Children’s Law Reform Act, the Vital Statistics Act and 39 other statutes to recognize the multitude of ways that a child can be conceived, and changes the wording in some laws so that gender references are neutral. It acknowledges the diversity of parentage and aims to end discrimination against non-traditional families.

Donor Sperm: Buyer Beware?

Blog Post
September 12, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

Many readers will have heard about the sperm donor in the United States who misrepresented his health and background in order to sell his sperm to a sperm bank in Georgia. He claimed that he was healthy, spoke five languages and was in the process of completing a PhD in neuroscience engineering. In reality, he actually suffers from schizophrenia, had dropped out of college, and even had a criminal record, including time spent in jail. Just what is the law regarding donor sperm in Canada?

LGBTQ Parental Equality Legislation in Ontario: Coming Soon?

Blog Post
June 9, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

On May 31, 2016, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne announced that the Ontario government will be tabling new parental recognition legislation in September 2016, rather than pushing though the existing Bill 137, commonly referred to as Cy and Ruby’s Act. Cy and Ruby’s Act was tabled in the Ontario Legislature in October 2015, with the primary purpose being to make birth registration services accessible to LGBTQ families and removing the legal barriers to same.