News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 25, 2021

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO SAFEGUARD THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN

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Proposed Legislation Would Ensure Legal Recognition of the Intended Parents: Friesen

The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would modernize the Family Maintenance Act by clarifying parentage for children conceived through assisted reproduction with or without surrogacy, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen announced today. 

“The courts have ruled that Manitoba must clarify its legislation and make changes to the Family Maintenance Act to properly recognize the rightful parents of a child,” said Friesen. “Legal parentage is an important concept in law as it determines a child’s identity, citizenship, inheritance rights and entitlement to benefits under federal and provincial law, and we are bringing in these changes in order to comply with the deadline placed by the courts on the province to address the definitions.” 

Parentage provisions are critical to safeguard the rights of children and ensure legal recognition of the intended parents who will have legal rights and responsibilities respecting their child, noted Friesen. 

The proposed changes were developed following a 2020 court decision on the constitutionality of parentage provisions of The Family Maintenance Act and include:

  • requirements for surrogacy agreements before a child is conceived;
  • processes for surrendering the child to the intended parents; and
  • exceptions where a surrogate does not consent to surrender the child. 

The minister noted the changes would bring Manitoba in line with other provinces that have updated their parentage law to deal with assisted reproduction, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. 

For more information on the Family Law Modernization Action Plan, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/familylaw/documents/flm_action_plan_eng.pdf

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