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

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

JANGO the police dog helped track down a suspect on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack. (RCMP photo)
Alleged thief in Chilliwack can’t fool the nose of JANGO the police dog

An Edmonton man who allegedly broke into a storage container on Luckakuck Way was arrested

Chilliwack RCMP nab two alleged thieves targeting bait vehicle

A man from Port Coquitlam and a woman from Delta were stopped and arrested at Eagle Landing Parkway

The AHL Board of Governors has approved the Vancouver Canucks decision to move their franchise to Abbotsford. (File photo)
AHL approves Canucks’ franchise relocation to Abbotsford

Board of Governors approves move, season set to start on Oct. 15

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read