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

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Delta Patriots Cricket Club takes Surrey, other clubs to court over Cricket BC voting

‘At issue is the propriety or legality of the voting procedures within Cricket BC,’ Justice John Harvey noted

Surrey Eagles forward Rocco La Cara battles with Coquitlam Express forward Dante Berrettoni during a game earlier this season. (Damon James photo)
Surrey Eagles wrap up BCHL ‘pod’ season with win over Coquitlam

South Surrey-based junior ‘A’ hockey team finishes with 17-2-1 record

A grave marker at the old pet cemetery in Newton, from video posted to the Youtube channel Exit Thru the Gift Shop.
SURREY NOW & THEN: Newton’s abandoned pet cemetery now surrounded by houses

VIDEO: Former B.C. Pet Cemetery might also be a burial site for human remains

Surrey RCMP detachment in Newton. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP say cryptocurrency fraud on the rise

They’ve received 59 reports of cryptocurrency fraud totaling $612,748 since January

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Most Read