LGBTQ2+ couples will now be allowed to pass on Canadian citizenship to their foreign-born children
Foreign-born children with Canadian parents with whom they do not have a biological relation will now be able to claim the same right to citizenship as children who are birthed by Canadians. The Superior Court of Quebec has successfully passed a ruling that will amend the definition of the word “parent” in citizenship law.
The Superior Court of Quebec passed the new ruling on July 9, 2020. Prior to this, the Citizenship Act stated that foreign-born children could be automatically recognized as Canadian citizens only if they had a genetic link to their Canadian parent. However, such an archaic definition of “parent” excluded the children of LGBTQ2+ couples as well as couples with fertility issues from securing Canadian citizenship status.
After the passing of the amendment, Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino praised the endeavor and implied that it was a long time coming.
Ushering in progress:
The quest for the change as led by a same-sex couple, Elsje van der Ven and Laurence Caron, whose son was denied Canadian citizenship at first because of the existing rule. Caron, a Canadian, was unable to secure citizenship for her son, Benjamin since his biological mother is van der Ven, who is a Dutch citizen. The couple is married, but Benjamin was not given recognition as a Canadian parent since van der Ven is not of Canadian origin.
Caron is a mother to Benjamin, both legally and emotionally, but she could not pass on her citizenship. According to Radio Canada, Caron later had a daughter who was given citizenship automatically without any question. This legal loophole was absurd in Caron’s eyes since she knew that both the children were hers equally.
The couple decided to approach the court in order to find a solution for parents who decide to use assisted human reproduction so they can be given the same rights as biological parents under citizenship law.