Canada: Three parent deal prompts EFC to again call for full study on best interests of children

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For immediate release from The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada today decided not to hear the appeal of the Three Parent Case (AA v BB) from Ontario. Today’s announcement leaves intact the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal to recognize that a child may have more than two legal parents.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) participated as an intervenor in the case along with the Christian Legal Fellowship, Catholic Civil Rights League, Focus on the Family and REAL Women Canada as a member of the Alliance for Marriage and the Family (AMF). The AMF felt compelled to pursue the unusual step of appealing as an intervenor as the Attorney-General for Ontario declined to participate in this case which challenged the foundation of Ontario’s family law legislation.

In light of decision today, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada again expresses the urgent need for full study of the impact on future generations as long standing social policies are being changed through litigation to suit adult desires.

EFC General Legal Counsel Don Hutchinson stated, “This decision is extremely regrettable as it leaves the judgment of the Court of Appeal to establish social policy for Ontario where the elected government should be taking responsibility.”

Hutchinson also noted that, in today’s decision, the Supreme Court of Canada was simply dealing with the unusual situation where an intervenor had applied to appeal the decision of a lower court and was not deciding whether or not the case presented “issues worthy of consideration by this Court or whether the Court of Appeal’s judgment is well founded.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision does leave the door open for the government of Ontario to firm up Ontario’s family law standards before the courts become backlogged with the litigation this situation will engender,” stated Hutchinson. The case raises a number of questions in attempting to provide an answer to an otherwise isolated situation. Still left unanswered are the following: How many legal parents may each child now have? What will determine the number of parents a child will legally have: sexual orientation of the parents, divorce and remarriage or the breakdown of a long term relationship? Will the number of parents allowed per child now impact the number of spouses permitted in a marriage?

“The process that governments in Canada are now using to redefine social policy is seriously flawed,” said Douglas Cryer, EFC director of public policy. “Rather than coming up with a substantive social policy relating to the family, governments have been addressing the issue in a piecemeal fashion, leaving the hard choices to the courts. The government needs to study the potential impact on children generally and accept responsibility to set the social policy that is in the best interests of Canadians.”

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THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF CANADATogether for influence, impact and identity

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is the national association of evangelical Christians, gathered together for influence, impact and identity in ministry and public witness. Since 1964 the EFC has provided a national forum for Evangelicals and a constructive voice for biblical principles in life and society.

In addition to 40 evangelical denominations, the EFC affiliates include ministry organizations, educational institutions and individual congregations, who uphold a common statement of faith. It is an active participant in the World Evangelical Alliance.

View our current initiatives and partnerships. Order a copy of Faith Today, published by the EFC to connect, equip and inform evangelical Christians in Canada. Visit the EFC gathering of the Canadian Christian community online: www.christianity.ca.