As our definitions of marriage evolve, so do our definitions of parenthood. Many places around the world have precedent for step-parents and adoptive parents gaining full custody and parental rights, but what about gay parents?
A gay dude in Alberta was just confirmed as the legal father of a 10-year old girl – one that he was raising with his ex-partner, the girl’s biological father.
The man, who the National Post only refers to as “Mr. H”, raised the girl with his now-ex-partner for the first three years of her life. His legal fatherhood slipped through the cracked based on problems with fathers and “Intent-Based Parenting” laws, which tend to discriminate against non-biological, non-married fathers.
The Alberta Court of Appeals just recently (but who knows how recently, because you can’t Google the unnamed dad) upheld the decision to declare Mr. H as the legal father. His ex-partner, coincidentally, was the one that inseminated the mother.
Here’s where it gets odd: Per the National Post, “The girl lives with Mr. R, her guardian, and this new decision has no effect on her custody arrangements, though it gives Mr. H standing to challenge them.”
I can’t see this ending well for them, though what its done in court is establish that Intent-Based Parenting laws need to be dragged into the modern reality that it isn’t always one man and one woman marrying and creating a child and living happily ever after.
This case has interesting implications, which no doubt society will be struggling with for years to come.
(Photo lovingly stolen from J. Stephen Conn)