Sudbury

New Ontario bill aims to change legal rights of new LGBT parents

A Sudbury woman is applauding a new bill that — if passed, will change the rules for LGBT parents in Ontario.

Your child needs emergency surgery and you can't sign off on it? That's still a reality for some LGBT parents

An Ontario law has caused trauma and fear for many new LGBT parents, a Sudbury resident tells CBC News. Now, a new provincial bill hoping to change the legal rights of new LGBT parents is headed for final approval. (Shutterstock / AlexSmith)

A Sudbury woman is applauding a new bill that — if passed, will change the rules for LGBTQ parents in Ontario.

Right now, if gay, lesbian and transgender couples have a child through a sperm donor or surrogate mother they know, the non-biological parent is required to adopt the child after it's born.

That means for months, that parent has no legal right to the newborn.

Sudburian Kelly Perras and her partner have chosen to use an anonymous donor at a sperm bank to avoid this, after watching many LGBTQ friends endure an emotional roller coaster to ensure the child is officially theirs.

It makes a difference when it comes to healthcare.

"If you're still waiting those months till you're the legal parent to the child, and you have to take the child to an emergency and sign a legal document stating that this child can receive medical treatment, you don't have that right," Perras said.

"And that's your very own child."

The new provincial bill is meant to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents have legal rights to their own child, right from birth.

Cheri Dinovo — the Toronto NDP MPP who launched the private-members bill — told CBC News that LGBT parents are unfairly forced to spend thousands of dollars to adopt their children.

"This is costly," she said.

"It's a lot of red tape for trying to just assert the obvious: that the child born is your child."

Perras said she and her wife don't want to go through the emotional roller coaster she's seen her other LGBT friends go through.

"Imagine the unthinkable circumstance of a mother dying in child birth, and that other parent having no legal rights to that child," she said.

"That's a terrifying prospect should anything happen."

Dinovo's bill now heads to final reading.

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