How queer!? Canadian approaches to recognizing queer families in the law




family law, social theory, Canada, LGBT studies


Canada is at the global forefront in providing legal recognition to queer parents. To date, three of its ten provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan) will grant parental status to three or more intentional parents and enable their identification on birth registration. All provinces and territories permit the registration of an “other parent” on birth registration, and all jurisdictions enable queer couples to adopt. Notably, these legislative accomplishments have not attracted a great deal of political resistance. The relatively slow process of reforming parentage law to adapt to same-sex marriage and common law relationships, favourable court rulings, and the combination of the need to address parentage in situations involving both assisted reproduction and queer families have been significant factors in the Canadian story. Moreover, the terms of the legal provisions continue to rely largely on conjugality and biology as the basis of parentage claims. These developments have clearly been important for some queer families, but they exist within fairly conventional parameters, begging the question as to how queer Canada’s parentage recognition really is.




How to Cite

Harder, L. (2021). How queer!? Canadian approaches to recognizing queer families in the law. Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, 4(1), 303–328.



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