Foreign-born children whose Canadian parents are not biologically related to them now have the same right to citizenship as children born to Canadians.
Prior to the Quebec Superior Court’s decision today, July 9, the Citizenship Act only allowed children born abroad to be automatically recognized as citizens if they shared a genetic link with a Canadian parent. . This archaic definition of “parent” has made it difficult for children of LGBTQ2+ couples and couples with fertility issues to obtain Canadian citizenship.
The change was spearheaded by Elsje van der Ven and Laurence Caron, a same-sex couple whose son, Benjamin, was initially denied Canadian citizenship. Caron, who is Canadian, was unable to obtain citizenship for her son because his wife, van der Ven, is his birth mother and a Dutch citizen. Since van der Ven is not Canadian, Benjamin was not recognized as having a Canadian parent even though Caron was also his mother, legally and emotionally.
Radio Canada reported that Caron later gave birth to a daughter who was automatically granted citizenship, further underscoring the absurdity of the legal loophole since in Caron’s eyes they are both his children as well.
The couple went through the legal system to find a solution so that parents who use assisted reproduction can be considered equal to biological parents in the right of citizenship.
“It’s a huge change for us. Benjamin now has access to citizenship and a Canadian passport,” writes Laurence Caron at CIC News in French. “It will make it easier for us to travel and give us the possibility of moving to Canada if the opportunity arises. Personally, it is also a recognition of my role as a mother for Benjamin and a recognition of my family as having the same rights as all families.
Canada’s immigration department bragged about the victory in a press release.
“I am very pleased to announce this historic and positive statement made by the Superior Court of Quebec,” reads a quote attributed to Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, “Canadian LGBTQ2+ Families and Parents in struggling with fertility issues have waited too long for this important day. »
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