Canadian Citizenship law had a loophole that did not allow some parents to pass on Citizenship to their kids; however, this loophole is now closed to encourage the modern families in the country. For this, the Quebec Superior Court declared that the non-biological, legal children of Canadians can now enjoy the same Citizenship rights as those of biological children.
This change applies to the children of same-sex couples and couples with fertility issues who used assisted human reproduction, such as surrogacy. These couples can now pass on the Citizenship rights to their children if one of them is Canadian. However, this change does not apply to adopted children as they go through a separate process to obtain Canadian Citizenship.
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Before the ruling by the Quebec Superior Court, all those children who were born through surrogacy were not able to get Canadian Citizenship from their parents due to the loophole. While, it granted automatic Citizenship to only those children who were biologically connected to one or both of their Canadian parents and born outside of Canada.
The ruling by the Quebec Superior Court was made, when one of such parents, Elsje van der Ven and Laurence Caron got the court’s rule in their favor, who wanted to pass on Citizenship to their son, Benjamin. Benjamin was denied Canadian Citizenship as his Canadian parent, Caron was not his biological mother, while Caron has married Benjamin’s biological mother, van der Ven. On the other hand, under the antiquated definition, Caron’s biological daughter, Anna, who was born in the Netherlands, was automatically granted Canadian Citizenship as part of the loophole of the nation’s Citizenship law.
The new definition by the Citizenship Act for “parent” says that both of the below can now obtain their parent’s Citizenship:
The new definition given by Canada for “parent” considers all those individuals who have been identified as a child’s legal parent at birth. These Canadian parents can pass on Citizenship to their children with or without a biological connection. Canada will recognize these individuals as legal parents if their name appears on either of the below:
Those parents who have not been identified as a legal parent of the child at birth, but have a biological connection to the child may have to do a DNA test to back their claim.
On the other hand, children who were born through assisted human reproduction arrangements, such as surrogacy, cannot obtain Canadian Citizenship by succession if:
Minors in the age group of 14 to 18 years can apply for proof of Citizenship in Canada without their parent’s countersign. But if a minor below 14 years wants to file an application for proof of Citizenship, then his or her parent should countersign the application. On the other hand, the officer who is processing the application has to update the parent of the child on its status.
It does not seem very clear that who will be automatically granted Canadian Citizenship and who is eligible to apply for Citizenship. However, to help individuals answer this question, the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a tool called “Am I Canadian.”
The IRCC says individuals are expected to be Canadian citizens if they:
The change made in the Canadian Citizenship law supports the modern families of society. With the changes, now children of many left-out couples have the same Citizenship rights as the biological children of Canadians.