Polyamorous Families in Canada

This was only a matter of time:

In the first decision of its kind in Canada, all three adult members of a polyamorous family have been recognized as parents of a child.

Two months ago, Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court (Family Division) in the case of Re C.C., decided the adults would be named as parents of the child born within their three-way relationship.

I predict a full-on campaign to bring all aspects of polyamorous relationships on a legal par with monogamous marriages before too long. Those puff-pieces have been buttering us up for something, you know.

In the introduction to his decision, Justice Fowler described the unconventional St. John’s household:

“J.M. And J.E. are the two male partners in a polyamorous relationship with C.C., the mother of A., a child born of the three-way relationship in 2017. The relationship has been a stable one and has been 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.”

The three adults brought a court proceeding asking to be recognized as the parents of A. after the Newfoundland Ministry of Service refused to designate them as parents, saying that the Vital Statistics Act allowed only two parents on the child’s birth certificate.

What always surprises me about these stories is how short the timescales are. Quite often middle aged women write about finally finding the love of their life two months ago. In this case, the kid is less than two years old, the relationship only three, yet it’s described unequivocally as “stable” by a judge. In terms of marriage and a family, that’s a blink of an eye.

In his ruling, Fowler observed that “the child, A., 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…. I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child’s point of view…. To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests.

Why? How is it in his interests to create future ambiguity? What, exactly, is the threat to his interests which arise from having the biological father on the birth certificate and the live-in boyfriend excluded? And does the child not have the right to find out who his biological father is?

It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interest of the parents.”

The fact the judge has to labour this point suggests it’s a lot less obvious than he thinks. From where I’m sat, the birth certificate is being used more to describe the romantic arrangements of the mother at the time of conception than provide useful information as to who the child’s parents are.

Unlike bigamy and polygamy — which involve marriage ceremonies between the participating parties — polyamorous relationships are not prohibited by the Criminal Code.

At this point one wonders why polygamy is still illegal.

Boyd’s research found that people who identify as polyamorous, typically “reject the view that sexual and relationship exclusivity is necessary for deep, committed, long term relationships with more than one person on mutually agreeable grounds, with sex as only on aspect of their relationships.”

Similarly, second-hand car salesmen think they’re honest, journalists think they’re brave, and BBC comedians think they’re funny.

There is little doubt the recognition of three parents will be the least legally complex aspect of polyamorous relationships. Family law legislation across Canada now recognizes only one spouse’s obligation to the other. Current legislation will be difficult to apply in polyamorous relationships, especially if new partners become involved in the relationship and the relationship later breaks down.

All the more work for lawyers and judges, then. Kerr-ching!

(H/T: Fay)

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23 thoughts on “Polyamorous Families in Canada

  1. “Unlike bigamy and polygamy — which involve marriage ceremonies between the participating parties — polyamorous relationships are not prohibited by the Criminal Code.”
    Good to know: everything is allowed if you don’t take full responsibility. A recipe for stability, of course, all for the good of our society.

  2. So they’ve refused simple tests (blood group, DNA) to establish the real father. Why? Double child benefit? Two crates f free beer while they watch the hockey game?

  3. No no no! Every child should be able to know where they came from. Unfortunately some children do not, usually due to immature or shitty behavior by parents. But for the state to endorse the active concealment of parentage is beyond belief…

  4. The family is probably the biggest obstacle in the way of “communalizing” the children with the goal of unrestricted marxist indoctrination, so it obviously must be destroyed to achieve the communist ideal.

    Familiarity with basicestest combinatorics (not a risk among gender studies graduates, of course) will give you enough reasons why polyfuckery is extremely unstable, at which point the only stable, nurturing figure in the picture remains The State, as intended.

  5. It strikes me that they are pushing the idea that polygamy (typically one man, two women) is sexist and wrong and illegal but polyamory (typically one woman, two men) is good and just and fair and should be promoted.

  6. This might have some interesting legal implications in other cases – for example, can you inherit citizenship of a country with jus sanguinis via a “third parent” who is no biological relation of yours, and whose closest analogue in terms of traditional relationship would be something like a stepfather?

  7. Look on the bright side. When it comes to the trio splitting up, the woman gets the child and two lots of alimony. Probably because, absent a DNA test, it will be impossible to prove who the biological father is on the same basis that sticking your backside onto a buzz saw and saying which tooth nicked the skin first is equally problematic.

  8. while the identity of the mother is clear, the biological father of the child is unknown

    And that, in a nutshell, is why we used to have this thing called “marriage”. Generally between one man and one woman (variations usually involved one man and several women, with the women not being married to one another), marriage ensured that all parties knew who the FATHER of the resulting children was, and gave him an emotional investment in the children of his wife or wives.

    Men who don’t know they have biological offspring don’t have much emotional investment in the future beyond their own lifetimes, and hence little reason to work themselves into early graves for the benefit of other people’s children. Fathers though, Patriarchs, have a potentially immortal bloodline to secure. That’s something worth working, fighting, and even dying for.

    Of course now the word “marriage” just means “welfare for people who claim to love one another”. Not exactly the stuff of greatness there, or even survival if Europe is an example.

  9. Jabrwok,

    Polygamy went out with the success of the Romans, possibly as they were the first empire really to develop militarily to an extent that they could defeat any one for minimal losses on their own side.

    Young men coming home from the war to find all the hot chicks married off to the local chieftan was not an effective way to incentivise military service, so a practice that was essential to tribal survival when 80% of the young men would regularly get slaughtered became something of a liability once you had that level of technical and tactical superiority.

    That s my hypothesis anyway.

    Polyandry exists only in places where humans are on the brink of survival and a household can only survive with two males working at full tilt.

  10. Interesting ads. Meet Chinese women and meet Arab women.

    The Chinese lady has implausibly large breasts for a Chinese. The Arab photo is cropped such that we can’t tell.

  11. OK, IIRC, in Canada an adopted child is allowed to search for, and contact, xis birth parents, because of culture, heredity stuff, and dog knows what else.

    But in this case, the child can’t know his XY parental unit.

    Can someone splain this to me, in small words, please?

  12. Can someone splain this to me, in small words, please?

    Sure. We’re fucking retarded. Next question.

    This really shouldn’t be that surprising. The social justice contingent has been trying to beat down the notion that biology means anything whatsoever. The fact that they’re actually pushing this “impossible to know who the father is” bollocks (for the love of St. Michael the Archangel, not it’s not. Even genetic chimerism doesn’t preclude this) is evidence that they’ve just abandoned all reason and science. There are a host of reasons why knowing who the biological father is matters, not least of which is genetic disorders carried on the father’s line and blood quantum for indigenous status (this is kind of a big thing in Canada).

    Then again, Newfoundland and Labrador is considered to be the “embarrassingly stupid and backwards” part of Canada, akin I suppose to West Virginia methbillies and Deep South rural rednecks (I don’t know what the UK equivalent would be. The Welsh?)

  13. Anyone remember during the gay marriage debates how opponents argues it could be a slippery slope form there to polygamy, etc? Last laughs on them

  14. Young men coming home from the war to find all the hot chicks married

    Young men coming home from the war usually expected to come home with one or two slave girls. After all, having gone to the trouble to slaughter the enemy men, you’re not going to leave their daughters to enjoy polygamy with the survivors of their clan.

  15. It strikes me that they are pushing the idea that polygamy (typically one man, two women) is sexist and wrong and illegal but polyamory (typically one woman, two men) is good and just and fair and should be promoted.

    How I’ve come to see it is as follows. Various people who are manifestly incapable of having a normal, stable relationship enter into an arrangement whereby they can shag around free of the usual compromises and sacrifices required of a monogamous relationship. By calling it polyamory, they hope to create a veneer of respectability for their lifestyle. Note they crave acceptance from non-polyamorists, which I assume is to help convince themselves they’re not seriously weird.

  16. Interesting ads. Meet Chinese women and meet Arab women.

    I understand the ad machine accesses your browsing history, scans your hard drive (including the system files), and reads any messages from your phone sent late at night when on business trips alone. It then selects the most appropriate ads to display.

    Something you want to tell us, BiG?

  17. I think the long term desire of a lot of people is that children become the property of the mother, just as centuries ago they were effectively property of the father. The surname they get is a bit of a clue.

    It’s why I refused point-blank to have my children have my wife’s surname, despite being happy that she didn’t take mine at marriage. Maternity is not at dispute, but I wanted it clear they are mine.

    Far from having two fathers, this child now has none.

  18. the biological father of the child is unknown

    Be amazed at the speed at which the identity of the father becomes important and known when it all goes tits up.

  19. “It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interest of the parents.”

    As someone who spent far too much time practicing in family law courts, let me defend the judge’s position here.

    He just set up three people instead of the normal one or two who will be absolutely responsible for the child’s welfare – i.e., the costs of raising the kid – for the next 21 years.

    If that kid ends up on welfare or food stamps or whatever other programs are out there, his total bill (if the system works right) will end up as a non-dischargable judgment against all three “parents.” (It’s normal for the state prosecutors to process such claims against responsible parents when the state foots the bill for their kids.)

    More chances of collecting the money eventually with three of them on the hook.

  20. bobby b,

    “More chances of collecting the money eventually”

    Assuming that this conclusion is correct (what if the “two fathers” get along so well they shoot each other?), that would be the judge acting in the best interest of the state, not that of the child, innit?

  21. @BiG: That s my hypothesis anyway.

    Sounds reasonable. My comment was in no way intended as a defense or rationalization of poly-whatevery. The fact that it has existed doesn’t mean it was ever a good idea.

    I think the current breakdown of M/F monogamy is a disaster, especially as I consider the institution of marriage to be *the* foundation of civilization. Re-define it to the point of meaninglessness and you’ll produce a lot of men who have no investment in the long-term survival of their societies anymore, and feminists to the contrary notwithstanding, women aren’t going to step in and take up the slack.

  22. Ivan: “Assuming that this conclusion is correct (what if the “two fathers” get along so well they shoot each other?), that would be the judge acting in the best interest of the state, not that of the child, innit?”

    Yep, true. If there’s no welfare involved, kid has three legally-obligated sources of funds instead of one or two. If welfare is involved, the state gets that benefit.

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