1. Understand who can be listed as a parent

Ontario’s family laws recognize that a child can have more than 2 parents. When you register your child’s birth, you can list:

  • the birth parent only
  • the birth parent and one other parent
  • up to 4 parents if you have a written agreement that all parents signed before the child was conceived that says they are parents
  • 5 or more parents if you have a saying that there are 5 or more parents

You can choose the title of “mother”, “father”, or “parent” for each parent.

Everyone who is listed as a parent on the child’s birth registration must agree to be listed.

In most cases, the law assumes a person listed as a parent on the birth registration is a parent to the child. But this is not always the case. Ontario has laws that say who is a parent.

For example, if you and your or common-partner are listed as parents, your partner might be able to show that they should not be a parent by taking a DNA test that shows the child is unlikely to be related to them.

In the same way, a person who isn’t listed as a parent on the birth registration can still be a parent. For example, you may decide to register your child’s birth by only listing you as the birth parent. But that doesn’t mean that your child only has one parent. Your child’s other parent can show they should also be a parent to the child.

If you aren’t sure if you want to list all parents on the birth registration, you can talk to a lawyer. Listing a person as a parent usually gives them rights and responsibilities towards your child. Rights are what the law says you can get, for example, the right to spend time with your child. Responsibilities are what the law says you have to do, for example financially support your child by paying .

Hide this website