Legislature of Saskatchewan passes 2 laws violating a child's rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms while disobeying the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada and violating the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
Two new laws were passed in June of 2004 in Saskatchewan in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Trocuik v. British Columbia (Attorney General). Every other province/territory will have to make changes too.
Saskatchewan is the first province to formulate change to their laws resulting from this supreme court decision.
It is the opinion of the Canadian Children's Rights Council that both new laws violate the most fundamental principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They do not recognize the mandatory need for correct information about the identity of the biological father and therefore don't support the security of the the child.
It is our opinion that the birth record, initiated by a form called "statement of live birth" be verified with regards to the biological parents of the child.
The new federal laws regarding surrogate motherhood may mean that the woman giving birth is a surrogate mother whose role is limited to carrying the baby for the pregnancy period. The mother may be the egg donor in this example. The "Statement of Live" form must incorporate all of the information about the identity of the infant person. It is imperative that the government verify this information by mandatory paternity testing because of the high rate of paternity fraud. It is too late in many circumstances to try and track down parents much later. The longer after birth, the harder it is to prove parental identity.
Each newborn should have the relationship support of both parents where possible and this should be supported by the government.
Considering that false information provided on a "Statement of live birth" form is subject to 6 months in prison or a $25,000 fine in most provinces, we wonder who is enforcing the Vital Statistics Acts. This is certainly vital information to a newborn infant.
The new complexities include many people: the egg donor, the sperm donor, the husband/life partner, the biodad (in cases of paternity fraud), the surrogate mother.
In the case of paternity fraud, the new laws don't require the necessary paternity testing needed to properly support the child's right to their own human identity, a human right supported in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
A woman can lie about the identity of the father, claim she was raped, state that she is a victim of domestic violence etc. and avoid providing information about the father.
The 2 laws in question
The first is the amendment to The Adoption Act, 1998. One amendment to this law gives the ability to a birth mother to make an ex-parte application to the court to exclude the birth father from being notified and participating in adoption proceedings respecting his child(ren), due to 'safety concerns'.
Just say you are victim of domestic violence and save 20+ years of child support payments to the father who wishes to become a parent and to raise the child. They may live in a small community where the woman would face having a child being raised by a man she briefly had a relationship with or alternately with whom she had a sexual affair. Maybe even a married man. She may have to face her abandonment decision again and again. She may think that it is better to adopt the child out to someone far away and don't tell the dad. Again a violation of the child's rights to a relationship with his/her father and to be raised by that father, should he choose to be a parent.
The law fails in that there is no appeal allowed from the ex-parte order, and in fact, the father will never be informed that an ex parte order has been made against him denying him any say in the potential adoption of his child(ren). This violates both the father's rights and the child's rights to a relationship.
The Parliament of Canada's Special Joint Committee on Custody and Access which held hearings across Canada in 1998 stated that false allegations of domestic violence were rampant in child custody disputes.
False allegations will be allowed in adoption proceedings to exclude the father, with no legal recourse.
The second new law (Bill 49) is an amendment to the Vital Statistics Act, 1995. The law will no longer allows the birth mother to unacknowledge the birth father ( as per the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada ). However, fathers will still be allowed to be unacknowledged by being listed as 'incapable" due to death, illness, out of the province or otherwise'. The birth records are the record of the identity of the child and should be respected as such.
New federal law regarding major medical information for the life of an egg or sperm donor supports the right to reproduce and the responsibilities that go with that right. Infants born using natural means should have their identity rights supported too and be entitled to major medical information.
Parents that abandon their children to adoption can give their life long major medical information to the child voluntarily.
These original laws were made in a time when technology regarding invitro-fertilization and paternity testing were drastically different.
Paternity testing can now be done be a simple non-invasive blood test taken in the same manner as if you were having any other blood test done. All that is required is a simple blood test , a procedure the mother to be would normally have anyway during her pregnancy.
The Supreme Court of Canada decision states that the father has to be named unless the child was conceived due to sexual assault or incest. Further, the amendment does not allow the child's surname to be changed in the father was initially stated to be 'incapable' a determination not made by any government agency which has investigated the situation and done paternity testing.
These bills passed with very little or no meaningful debate or amendment in the legislature or committees. These amendments discriminates against fathers and children.