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Here is the third in a series of blog posts summarizing some of the things that happened in 2017 that may impact on your family. This post will discuss the All Families Are Equal Act and the changes to birth registration in Ontario.

Birth registration

The All Families Are Equal Act

On January 1, 2017, the All Families Are Equal Act came into force in Ontario, which amended the Children’s Law Reform Act and a variety of other pieces of legislation in Ontario.

The legislation now includes an option for parents having children through surrogacy to register their child’s birth without having to go through a court process. This will be possible so long as specific requirements are met, including requirements that all parties receive independent legal advice before signing the surrogacy agreement, and that the surrogacy agreement be signed before conception. If the streamlined registration is not available, those individuals can still apply through the court for legal recognition of their parental status. Other changes include the use of the gender-neutral language of “parent” instead of “mother” and “father”, and provisions allowing for up to four legal parents being included on a child’s birth certificate.

There have been many critiques of the All Families Are Equal Act, and the law is still evolving on how this legislation will be applied. We expect to see changes in the future, and as they come about we will continue to blog about them through the Family Connection.

If you would like to learn more about how any of the above legislative changes may impact you, contact our Family Law Group.

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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