File photo. (Pixabay)

File photo. (Pixabay)

B.C. judge rules that 2nd mom should be 3rd legal parent in polyamorous family

All three adults have lived together in a committed relationship since 2017

Editor’s note: The names used here are not the individuals’ real names and were provided by the court.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has added a third parent for a child that already has a mother and father.

Justice Sandra Wilkinson made the decision Friday to allow Eliza and Bill, who are the biological parents of Clarke, 2, to add Olivia, their third partner, to the child’s birth certificate as a legal parent.

According to court documents, Eliza and Bill have lived together and been partners since the early 2000s. They met Olivia in 2013 and began a romantic relationship with her in 2016, and she moved in a year later.

“The petitioners are in a relationship known in the polyamory community as a triad,’” Wilkinson stated. “As the petitioners explain, to them this means that they each have a relationship with one another and each of their relationships with each other are considered equal.”

Court documents state that while it’s unclear if all three people were committed to the idea of Olivia being a “full parent” prior to Eliza’s pregnancy, at some point during the nine months all three agreed she would be fully involved. The judge said that Olivia had a “very active role” in preparing for the child’s birth, including inducing lactation so she could breastfeed.

“In fact, Olivia was the first parent to feed Clarke after he was born,” Wilkinson stated. Olivia also took four weeks off, unpaid, to be with the baby and family after birth.

WIlkinson noted that by all accounts, the triad has been living life like any other family; sharing parental duties, taking trips together, visiting all three families and adjusting their parenting due to the impact of COVID-19.

“It is not disputed that Clarke is being raised by three loving, caring, and extremely capable individuals,” Wilkinson stated. “Unlike many family law matters which come before the court, this is not an instance of family members taking adverse positions. The petitioners are in agreement that Olivia should be recognized as Clarke’s legal parent, alongside Eliza and Bill.”

The family found themselves before the court because the Family Law Act does not allow for a third parent to be legally added, “unless that child is conceived using assisted reproduction.” Clarke was conceived naturally.

Wilkinson did not agree with B.C.’s Attorney General, who had said that Olivia being declared the child’s guardian would achieve what the family wanted.

“There are clear and tangible differences between being a parent and being a guardian, evidenced, in part, by the legislature’s decision to distinguish between these two roles with separate designations,” she stated. “A parentage declaration is also a symbolic recognition of a parent-child relationship. This difference should not be minimized.”

Wilkinson she would “declare that Olivia is Clarke’s legal parent, alongside Eliza and Bill, and that his birth registration be amended accordingly by the Vital Statistics Agency.”

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island man’s $32-trillion lawsuit thrown out by B.C. Supreme Court


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Parenting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Bukwila by Art Thompson, set at the steps of Lansdowne campus’ Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre, has been welcoming students to campus since 1997. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
World-renowned artist’s legacy lives on at Camosun College

Art Thompson made untold contributions toward Indigenous education, art and advocacy

Did you know, according to the CRD, every person produces an average of 185–200 litres of wastewater per day? Here’s where most of it gets treated, at the new wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. (CRD image)
View Royal signs on to wastewater funding plan

Capital Regional District requesting to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade infrastructure

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read