PATERNITY

The relationship between a child and parent is known under Quebec law as “filiation”.

When a child is born, the first step in indicating their filiation is for the parents to file a “Declaration of Birth” with the Registrar of Civil Status within 30 days of the birth, along with the Attestation of Birth completed by a hospital official or employee of a birthing center.

If the parents are married or in a civil union, either of them can declare the filiation of the child with respect to the other parent on the Declaration of Birth. For those parents who are not married or in a  civil union, the Declaration must be signed by each parent to have that parent legally acknowledged.

If a Declaration of Birth is not filed within 30 days, the parents must file a late declaration, in which case the Registrar of Civil Status will conduct an investigation.

The birth certificate is prepared by the Registrar of Civil Status based on the information in the Declaration of Birth and Attestation.

If a parent’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate, the spouse of the mother in a marriage or civil union is presumed to be the child’s parent.

Similarly, within 300 days after the divorce or dissolution of civil union, the spouse is presumed to be the child’s parent.

However, if the mother remarries or enters into a new civil union and gives birth to a child within 300 days after the divorce or dissolution of civil union, the new  spouse would be presumed to be the parent.

If a child is born more than 300 days after a judgment of legal separation, the presumption will apply if the spouses resumed living together before the birth.

If a parent does not benefit from one of the above legal presumptions, they will have to apply to the court to prove their filiation to the child, by providing evidence of their relationship to the child and the other parent.

The above is intended to provide general information and is not to be taken as legal advice for a particular situation.  If you require a legal opinion, please contact an attorney.