Friday, July 13, 2007

Canada: Common-Law dad can't opt out of fatherhood

Finally some sanity from our Supreme Court:

On Thursday the Supreme Court dismissed an application for leave to appeal by a woman who wanted to absolve her common-law husband of responsibility for a child she had through artificial insemination.

The couple, identified only as John and Jane Doe, signed a pre-parenting agreement stating John Doe would not be considered the child's father. The couple took the agreement to court seeking legal validation.

Last February, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled against the agreement, saying the common-law husband will inevitably act in the role of father because he lives with the woman and her child.

"Can it be seriously contended that he will ignore the child when it cries? When it needs to be fed? When it stumbles? When the soother needs to be replaced? When the diaper needs to be changed?" Justice Ronald Berger wrote in that decision.

Magic Statistics comments:

Maybe it’s just me, but I find the mother’s motivation difficult to fathom. She wants to live with the guy, but she doesn’t want him to have contact with her child after they break up. Doesn’t she trust him to treat her kid right? If she doesn’t trust him with her child after they stop living together, how can she trust him in the same house with the kid now?

Maybe she plans not to have him in her life.

It's nice to see our legal system give some consideration to the child's rights.

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