Declarations of Parentage are declarations by a court that a person who is not a biological or adoptive parent of a child enjoys all of the parental rights related to that child.

It is a lifelong and unchangeable declaration. Declarations of parentage are commonly made where children are born by way of surrogacy in order to recognize the intended parents as parents of the child and remove the surrogate mother’s legal rights to the child. They are also common where members of non-traditional families wish to be listed as parents to a child.

Declarations can only be made if all the appropriate parties agree to the declaration. Once a declaration is made, the declared parents obtain all the rights of a natural or adoptive parent – they can enroll children in school or apply for a passport and OHIP card. If the parent is a Canadian citizen and the child is not, the child can become a citizen and the child obtains the rights of inheritance should the parent die intestate. Declarations also serve an important role in recognizing the value and contributions of a non-traditional parent to a child’s life.