Silent ways marginalization occurs

10 Dec

If you’re a parent, you are familiar with the act of registering your child’s birth.  Probably not something you associate with discrimination or inequity.

Your child is born. You register yourself or yourselves as parents. Voila!

For some people, birth registration is a painful reminder of unequal rights, and that not all families are recognized in the same way in Ontario (and other provinces). As an LGBTQ parent, birth registration is not straightforward and parental recognition can be costly.

Costly, you ask? Isn’t it free?
Not for everyone.

My daughter has two moms that she lives with, and a dad. Her biological parents are on her birth certificate (that’s the law, unless you use an anonymous donor from a sperm bank). And that leaves her second mom out in the  cold unless we have about $5000.00 to drop for second parent adoption or a declaration of parentage that lists all three of us.

If I were straight, I could likely put any guy’s name on the birth registration without raising any alarms – because no one would question it. But of course two women can’t “make” a baby, so that won’t fly.

In Ontario, you can have two moms on a birth registration if the donor is anonymous. That was a victory. But if you have a family like mine, or you are two men in a relationship having a baby through a surrogate, you have to do the extra steps and pay the money. (This may be the same for a straight couple using a surrogate as well.)

The bottom line? It’s not equitable, and it means some families are recognized as families and others are not. Until they pay for it.
Cost aside, imagine that you would have to wait to be recognized as your child’s parent?

This afternoon in Ontario, MPP Cheri DiNovo’s Bill about parental recognition (Cy & Ruby’s Act) is being read for the second time. Which means that by suppertime, our family could be one step closer to being legally recognized!

The sneaky thing about inequity is that we don’t necessarily know about it unless it impacts us.  What things do you take for granted that others only dream of or have to fight for?

See more!

Copyright 2015 Annemarie Shrouder
Speaker, Author and Facilitator on issues of Diversity & Inclusion

Radio Show Host – Creating Families


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