Friday, January 05, 2007

Wasting Court Time?

Excellent article in today's National Post by lawyer Karen Selick. It also appears to be available without subscription, which is a bonus.

Karen is also a frequent contributor to the Western Standard. She is usually featured in sparring bouts with Michael Coren where she seems to take the more liberal point of view. Considering the WS's political bias, hers is likely in reality more centrist compared to general Canadian standards.

Anyway, Karen's premise is that it was a waste of time and money for Mom & Mom & Dad to have gone through the recent court process to have their collective parenthood recognized:

...Had the two women walked into my office with their concerns, here is how I would have recommended they resolve them.

One of their fears, apparently, was that if the non-biological mother died, the child would not inherit her estate. "That's simple," I would have told them. "Just write a will, and your estate will go to whomever you wish. In fact, you should write a will in any event: If you die intestate, even after a court grants you recognition as a parent your estate will still be problematic to administer."

Another fear the couple cited was that if the birth mother died, her "surviving partner would be unable to make decisions for their minor child, such as critical decisions about health care."

This, too, I would have told them, could be resolved quite simply and inexpensively by the birth mother writing a will...

...This leads me to wonder whether the application before the court really was intended to serve the interests of the child, or whether it was merely one in a long series of court test cases designed to get "in the faces" of heterosexuals and score political points.

But in true centrist fashion, Ms. Selick also chastises the other side:

The "straight community," too, with all its hand-wringing, seems to want nothing more than something to fight about. They are apparently unaware that for many years, the law of Ontario has awarded the status of parent to three or more people under a variety of circumstances.

However, the examples that she elaborates on in the ensuing paragraphs do not take into account that this was the first time that three names have been allowed on a Canadian birth certificate. No one seems to fully understand the implications of such a ruling regarding future court challenges.

Predictably there were many letters to the editor this morning on this subject. I found the following one most interesting. This one is under subscriber lock, but the first paragraph is available here. Please read it first.

O.K. Did you get that last sentence? Judges just can't say "No" to a lesbian. Darn bigoted Bible-thumping right-wing zealot, right?

Now here's the rest of the letter:

The lawyers for the newly-created mom say this is about preventing problems in care should anything happen to the biological mother. How nice! What about all the biological fathers who endure legal horrors to gain access to their own children in cases of divorce? No judge ever did as much for them.

By the way, I am gay too.

Bob Manders, Toronto.

I can't wait for the inevitable Dad & Dad & Mom challenge.

1 comment:

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mmm... Obviously everyone agrees with Karen Selick.

Case closed.