Ontario Passes Law Ensuring Equal Recognition for All Parents and Children
All Families Are Equal Act will Support Families across the Province
Today, Ontario passed legislation that will ensure equal treatment for all parents and children in the province.
Bill 28, the All Families Are Equal Act, 2016, recognizes the legal status of all parents, whether they are LGBTQ2+ or straight, and whether their children were conceived with or without assistance.
The government plans to proclaim the law in force as of Jan. 1, 2017.
The new law will:
- Provide greater clarity and certainty for parents who use assisted reproduction to conceive a child
- Provide a streamlined process for the legal recognition of parents who use a surrogate, together with requirements meant to protect the rights of all parties through independent legal advice and confirmation of the surrogate's consent both before conception and after birth
- Reduce the need for parents who use assisted reproduction to have to go to court to have their parental status recognized in law.
Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and have the best possible start in life. Ensuring equal recognition for parents and their children is another way Ontario is supporting families across the province.
- This is the first time Ontario’s parentage laws have been updated since 1978.
- Assisted reproduction refers to a method of conception other than sexual intercourse and may involve a surrogate mother or a donor who provides their sperm or eggs to conceive a child.
- Once Bill 28 is proclaimed, people in Ontario will have the option to complete applications for birth registration that reflect the new parentage laws through mail-in applications. It is anticipated that online registration will be available by spring 2018.
- Bill 28 amends the Children’s Law Reform Act, the Vital Statistics Act and other legislation to use gender neutral terminology, where possible.
- In October 2015, Ontario announced a $50 million per year investment to expand access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, in addition to the $20 million per year currently spent on IVF and other assisted reproduction services under OHIP.
“Passing the All Families are Equal Act updates our laws so that all kids are treated equally by recognizing the legal status of their parents no matter if their parents are LGBTQ2+ or straight, and no matter if they were conceived with the help of assisted reproduction. As a province that values diversity and inclusion, it's important that our laws reflect these important beliefs. I am proud of the progress this bill represents. I am grateful to the many people and organizations that were able to work together and create a bill that puts what's best for kids first - having a loving family.”