A Newfoundland judge has declared a polyamorous trio of one woman and two men all legal parents of the child the woman gave birth to last year. The decision appears to be the first of its kind in Canada.
In ruling on the case, Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Family Division observed the child was born in 2017 as the result of a polyamorous relationship between two men and one woman he described as “stable and ongoing” since June 2015.
“None of the partners in this relationship is married and, while the identity of the mother is clear, the biological father of the child is unknown,” wrote Fowler. The judge did not seem aware of the existence of paternity tests.
The three adults went to court after the Newfoundland Ministry of Service refused to list them all as parents because the province’s Vital Statistics Act allows for the names of only two parents on a child’s birth certificate.
Fowler ruled having three parents was in the child’s best interests.
“To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests. It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interest of the parents,” he wrote.
The child “has been born into what is believed to be a stable and loving family relationship which, although outside the traditional family model, provides a safe and nurturing environment,” Fowler opined.
“I can find nothing to disparage that relationship…