Dad, Mom — and Mom: The Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decision in A.A. v. B.B.


  • Nicole LaViolette


On 2 January 2007, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its judgment in A.A. v. B.B. recognizing that a five-year-old boy can legally have two mothers and a father. The case was widely presented as another victory in the struggle for lesbian and gay rights and a fundamental reordering of parental rights and responsibilities. The analysis in this comment suggests that the real significance of the case lies elsewhere. The decision is more rightly situated in the developing caselaw on new methods of conception and parenting. At the same time, because the case is grounded in the exercise of a court’s parens patriae discretionary jurisdiction, the case simply cannot be read as allowing all children to have more than two parents. This comment will argue that the Court of Appeal’s decision in A.A. v. B.B., as sound as the reasoning may be, will likely impact on only a small number of families, despite the fact that many issues raised in that case are at the cusp of changing social and scientific conditions affecting an increasing number of families. Rather, it is time for lawmakers to initiate comprehensive law reform in relation to legal parentage.


Children, Same-sex relationship, Parents


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