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Vital Statistics Act will recognize same-sex parents on birth certificates

For release 14-110
Apr 30, 2014

WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon will amend the Vital Statistics Act to recognize same-sex parents.

“Updating the Vital Statistics Act to include same-sex partners is long overdue,” Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham said. “We’re living in a modern society where children are increasingly raised in blended families by single or same-sex parents.”

Currently the act does not allow registration of both same-sex parents of a child unless there is an adoption order that names the non-birth parent as the other parent.

Amending the Vital Statistics Act will reflect contemporary parenting roles already recognized by other Canadian jurisdictions. It will recognize same-sex partners as well as non-biological parents as parents on their children’s birth certificates – parental relationships that may result through natural conception or assisted reproduction.

The revised act will include definitions for ‘mother’, ‘father’ and ‘other parent.’ The new category of ‘other parent’ is defined as a spouse of the mother or father at the time the child was born. Birth certificates and birth registration forms will be changed immediately to enable same-sex parents to register and reflect their parental role. Listing same-sex parents on a birth certificate can be carried out retroactively.

The Department of Justice is in the process of identifying Yukon statutes that need to change and reflect similar language. Once the review is done, the department will present the list to the Yukon Legislative Assembly along with an omnibus bill that will change all affected acts at the same time.

“We are committed to thoroughly addressing this complex topic in a non-discriminating manner,” Graham added.

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