Same-sex couple challenges Yukon birth certificate rules

A Whitehorse same-sex couple has filed a human rights complaint after they were told both their names cannot be on a birth certificate unless the non-biological mother formally adopts the baby.

2nd mom told she needs to go through adoption process

Same-sex couple challenges Yukon birth certificate 2:37

A Whitehorse couple has filed a human rights complaint, saying the Yukon Government is discriminating against same-sex couples when it comes to birth certificates.

Cai Krikorian is the biological mother of son Mirek, now two months old. Her wife is Corinne Gurtler. They were told Gurtler's name could not be on Mirek's birth certificate unless she adopts the baby.

The couple isn't willing to go through the adoption process and say they shouldn't have to. 

"We just used a sperm donor and I know of straight couples who have used a sperm donor and put the husband's name on the birth certificate and no one asks for proof of paternity."

Krikorian says other jurisdictions have long since changed laws to accommodate same-sex parents.

The NDP's Jan Stick brought up the case in the legislature.

"I just assumed that when the Yukon led the way with same-sex marriages more than 10 years ago that we would have followed up with making sure our legislation met the new way of doing things," she said.

Stick said she wants to the see the government make changes to the rules around birth certificates and ensure all laws give equal rights to everyone.

Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham admits its laws for same-sex couples are outdated, and says his government will work to introduce the legislation and have it passed this session.

"The change is overdue," he said.

In addition to changes to the Vital Statistics Act, which regulates birth certificates, the government says there are up to eight other laws that require modernizing with same-sex couples in mind.

However, the Gurtler-Krikorian family is still frustrated. They say they've been told by the human rights commission that the government has the power to grant them a birth certificate immediately and then change the legislation but so far that hasn't happened.​