Same Sex Parents Win Case in NBWednesday, July 28 2010
On July 28, 2004, the Labour and Employment Board of New Brunswick ruled that the Depts of Health and Wellness and of Family and Community Services discriminated against a same-sex couple who tried to register the birth of their child and tried to have the non-biological parent adopt the child. The Board ordered both departments to stop discriminating against individuals in similar situations and to jointly pay $7,500 to the non-biological parent and $5,000 to the birth mother for the affront to their dignity.
The complainants had argued before the Board that they had been discriminated against because of her sexual orientation and marital status. The complainant's partner gave birth to a child with the aid of artificial insemination. NB Health and Wellness refused to register the baby in the non-biological parent's surname, and refused to officially recognize her as parent to the child, alleging respectively the marital status (unmarried) and the lack of provisions for same gender parents in the Vital Statistics Act.
Family and Community Services refused to acknowledge the spousal adoption request resorted to by the non-biological parent in order to legalize her parental status toward the child, on the grounds that a common law relationship is not considered a legal marriage, a condition for spousal adoption under the Family Services Act.