January 03, 2007

Beware! For That Way Lies... SANITY!

Good news for those of us on the "Yes, you CAN choose your family" side of society: a judge in Ontario has ruled that a child can have three legal guardians that can be called parents.

Here's what happened:

A lesbian couple, both white collar professionals (if that matters to you) who have been in a committed relationship since 1996 had a child using sperm donated by a long time friend of theirs a few years back (2001). The biological father sees his child twice a week, and had legal standing as a parent and legal guardian along with the mother.

The female partner, supported by the biological parents, applied to become a parent of the child she had been helping raise over the past five years. Under current law, if she had succeeded, the father would then no longer have been considered a legal guardian; this was something none of the adults wanted.

Hence Justice David Aston's decision to have three parents on the child's birth certificate.

He expressed concern that this ruling could "open the floodgates" to other legal actions by step-parents and extended families, but could not see justifying the exclusion of one parent from legal rights to what was, in his words, "a bright, healthy, happy individual who is obviously thriving in a loving family thatmeets his every need."

Now here's the self-interest:

My brother is married. The woman he is married to has two daughters by a previous marriage. I won't go into details, but the biological father is not exactly a world-class individual; but he hasn't actually done anything illegal. Now, while this helps my brother look great in comparison, he still cannot actually become the legal guardian to the girls who call him dad because that role is supposedly filled by the biological parents.

Meaning if anything happens to his wife, the kids go back to a support-skipping couch surfer.

Oops! Did I say that out loud?

With this ruling, there's a chance my brother could keep the kids with him, or at the very least retain visitation rights, should the children lose their mother.

Can anyone tell me why that would be a bad thing?


posted by Thursday at 8:28 pm


Blogger SadButTrue said...

Nice post. Gawd, I love Canada, as you perhaps discerned by my post at Friendly Neighbour. I am involved with a couple of all-American plus me team blogs (and about to form yet another international team, with a Texan, and French woman, and a couple of Aussies), and love to tell the Yanks amazing tales of what it's like to live in a civil society.
Anyway, I appreciate the participation - the response to this post was nothing short of amazing, especially the stories by Kristen and MacDaddy. What a study in contrasts! Getting on Mike's Blog Roundup is a blast.
I'll keep my fingers crossed with you. Sounds like you would be a good person to have on that forum.
<{:-) = me in a toque. Hoser.

6:36 pm  
Blogger Thursday said...

Thanks for the comment... and the emoticon that is oddly fitting.

Just don't forget that everyone thinke their own views are perfectly reasonable, but you can easily succumb to jingoism without perspective. In our typically Canadian, infuriatingly smug and passive-agressively apologetic kind of way, of course!

Love that international team, and good luck with it!

8:46 pm  

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