Can a Child Have Three Parents?

In the News

The case

The judge raised the possibility in a recent case involving a child conceived through assisted human reproduction. The child had two mothers, including the biological mother, and a biological father. Both the adoptive mother and the biological father wanted to be named as a parent on the act of birth in addition to the biological mother. But only two names could be included.

Cases involving a child must be decided in the child’s best interests. In this case, the little girl’s three “parents” were all involved in her life and asked the court to decide who should be named as her parents on the act of birth.

Times have changed

Quebec law recognizes only two parents for a child–a mother and father, two mothers or two fathers. But a parental project involves more than two people. For example, in assisted human reproduction a third person helps a couple conceive a child. Also, a spouse might want to adopt the other spouse’s children from a previous relationship.

The judge invited lawmakers to consider recognizing multi-parent families as is already done in several Canadian provinces.

To read the decision, go to (French only).