Registering the birth of a new baby can be done online through the Service Ontario website. With the province’s ‘5-in-1 Newborn Bundle,’ you can register your child’s birth, apply for a birth certificate, a SIN number, Canada Child Benefits and request an Education Savings Referral. When you have a child via a surrogate, there are a few extra steps you should be aware of.
Thanks to the passing of the All Families Are Equal Act, Ontario law recognizes the legal status of all parents, regardless of sexuality, gender identity, means of conception or genetic relation. This significantly eases the process of expanding a family for those using surrogates by eliminating the need to go through a Court adoption process to be recognized as a parent.
Through section 4 of the Children’s Law Reform Act, you may be recognized as a parent to a child conceived through assisted reproduction. Where the child’s birth involves a surrogate, this provision applies without the need of a court Order if you (i) had a surrogacy agreement before the child is conceived, and (ii) the surrogate agrees to give up parental rights no earlier than 7 days after the child is born.
Under the new parentage rules, the delivering person is still listed on the Notice of Live Birth (Form 1) or Stillbirth under “Mother’s Information.” Intended parents can complete the 5-in-1 Newborn Bundle online to be reflected as the parents on their child’s birth certificate.
The intended parents, whether or not they are genetically related to the child, are listed on the Form 2. In the case of surrogacy, this would not include the surrogate and should take place after the surrogate has provided their consent (i.e. completed the Statutory Declaration Form), at least seven days after delivery. Just because the form must be completed at least seven days after delivery does not mean that intended parents need to wait seven days to take over care of their child – parents can step into a care and custody role immediately upon the birth of the child.
Intended parents can register the birth online with Service Ontario as you would any other child.
If the birth involves a surrogate, make sure that you have the following forms completed, signed and commissioned before starting the online registration. You will need to mail them to the Office of the Registrar General to complete the registration.
The statutory declaration specifically requires the existence of a surrogacy agreement. It is therefore important, and often required by fertility clinics that intended parents and their surrogates have a fertility agreement in place prior to any transfers of embryos.