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How do I prove who my child's other parent is?

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How do I prove who my child's other parent is?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General

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How do I prove who my child's other parent is?
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Reviewed: 
September 5, 2018
Answer

Ontario’s family laws recognize that there are many ways to conceive a child and to be a parent to a child. For example, a person who isn’t biologically related to a child can still be a parent if they meant to be one before the child is conceived.

In situations where a child is conceived by sexual intercourse, the biological father is usually recognized by Ontario law to be a parent. But the law also says that he won’t be a parent if you both signed a written agreement that says he did not want to be a parent before you had sex.

If you don’t have an agreement and he doesn’t agree that he is a parent, you might want to prove he is a parent for a number of reasons. For example, to get him to pay child support.

You can ask the person you think is your child’s biological father to agree to take a paternity test. A paternity test is a medical test that compares a sample of your child’s DNA with a sample from the person you think is the biological father. The test results can show how likely it is that he is your child’s parent.

If the person you think is your child’s biological father doesn’t agree to a paternity test, you can go to court and ask a judge to order him to take the test. You can also ask the court for an order that states he is a parent. This is sometimes called a declaration of parentage. 

Declaration of parentage

A declaration of parentage can also be used in other situations. For example when you want to:

  • list 5 or more parents on a child’s birth registration
  • prove a person is a parent even though they aren’t biologically related to the child

Talk to a lawyer

You can talk to a lawyer who can tell you if you have enough proof to convince a judge to give you a declaration of parentage. They can also explain what being a parent means. The law gives parents certain rights and responsibilities toward their children. 

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