Quebec again excludes multi-parenting from its family law reform

Quebec again excludes multi-parenting from its family law reform

Quebec is once again excluding multiple parenting from its family law reform

Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir Bill 12 tabled Thursday recovers large parts of Bill 2 that Mr. Jolin-Barrette had drafted in the last Parliament. Among other things, it provides for recognition of the use of pregnancy for others.

Simon Jolin-Barrette should have taken advantage of the tabling of his bill reforming family law to enshrine multi-parenting in full in the Civil Code, says the LGBT+ Family Coalition. The elected CAQ persists and signs: a family is made up of two parents, no more.

The Minister of Justice continued Thursday the reflection initiated in the last CAQ mandate by tabling a new bill revising the rights of filiation of Quebec children and framing the call for surrogate mothers. This follows on from Bill 2 presented in the last mandate, which could not be adopted in its entirety before the dissolution.

However, despite the tabling of this new piece of legislation, the elected member of the Coalition avenir Québec once again said no to including in Quebec law the reality of certain families that do not correspond to the traditional model. “Two spouses [form] the parental project,” reads Bill 12 unveiled Thursday.

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Yet it is a long-standing demand of the LGBT+ Family Coalition that the Civil Code of Quebec recognize the reality of “multi-parent” families — for example, three people, including a biological mother, raising a child together. The organization also sent a request to the Superior Court last week “in order that families with more than two parents be legally recognized in Quebec”.

Asked Thursday about the absence of the concept of multi-parenthood from his new bill, Mr. Jolin-Barrette decided: “We, it is very clear that we exclude [it]. There is no study that shows that it is favorable to the interests of children to have more than two parents, “he said during a press briefing in Quebec City.

“Reflection of Quebec families”

According to the executive director of the LGBT+ Family Coalition, Mona Greenbaum, the minister's position directly contradicts his own assertions. “At the beginning of his press conference, he said that family law must reflect Quebec families. But there is a type of family that is not reflected at all,” she said in an interview with Le Devoir.

Simon Jolin-Barrette does not flinch. Quebec, he says, has made “a societal choice”. “We choose to ensure that parental authority is divided between only two parents,” he reiterated Thursday.

Words that do not surprise Ms. Greenbaum. “He continues to have the same speech,” she lamented. “Families with more than two parents exist. It is not in the interests of the child at all if one of the parents has no responsibilities and no rights. »

Protection for children from rape

Bill 12 tabled Thursday recovers large parts of Bill 2 that Mr. Jolin-Barrette had drafted in the last legislature. Among other things, it plans to recognize the use of pregnancy for others and to encourage the people involved to sign notarized contracts before the process begins.

Currently, any contract between a couple and a surrogate is invalid under the law. The agreement between the mother and the intended parents can therefore jump at any time, without consequence.

Beyond the “surrogate mothers” aspect, Mr. Jolin-Barrette adds a new aspect to his broad reform of family law.

If passed, Bill 12 will allow children born of rape to sever the bond of filiation with their parent-aggressor. They will still be able to receive compensation set by the court to “help meet [their] needs”. They will also retain their testamentary rights, despite the absence of parental ties in the eyes of the state.

The government estimates that each year, approximately 170 children are born from rape in Quebec.

“We are ending the possibility for a sexual aggressor to force the establishment of his paternity with the child,” summarized Mr. Jolin-Barrette at a press conference on Thursday. “A mother who has experienced such a traumatic event should not live with the fear that one day her attacker will seek to have rights over her child. »

Furthermore, it will not be mandatory for the parent-aggressor to be convicted of a criminal offense in order for his child to abandon the bond of filiation. The victim of the rape can instead turn to the civil, “where the burden of proof is much lower”, raised the CAQ minister.

“I'll give you an example: Mr. of paternity. He was not found guilty, then Madame had not filed a complaint. Madam will be able to say: “I refuse the filiation request because I was raped”. And the proof will be done at that time in court, but in the context of a civil proceeding where the burden of proof is lower,” he continued.

Law reform of the family of Simon Jolin-Barrette must be the subject of another bill, which this time will affect marital law. The minister still intends to table it during this term, he said Thursday. ” It is my wish. »