Two best friends who co-parent have been granted legal parent status


Two best friends who co-parent have been granted legal parent status

Two best friends from Canada who co-parent together, make legal history by being granted as legal parents, with both being named on the birth certificate.

Natasha Bakht, 44, and Lynda Collins, her best friend, have won their court case for both women to be legal parents to Natasha's disabled son, Elaan, born seven years ago.

It's the first time in Canadian history that two people who have never been in a romantic relationship have been legally recognised as parents. after they have been co-parenting together.

The 44-year-old decided to have a child using a sperm donor in her thirties. Her friend, Lynda, also wanted to have children so offered to be her birth coach.

Lynda told CBC News: ‘I thought it would be just an amazing life experience to see someone be born.’

But at just six months old, doctors discovered that part of Elaan’s brain was dead and that he had spastic quadriplegia, meaning he cannot use any of his limbs.

He also has asthma epilepsy, visual problems and is unable to speak.

As a result, Lynda moved in with her friend to help her out and started sharing some of the responsibilities, even attending medical appointments with her.

When the time came for Lynda to consider having her own child, she realised she already had one.

She said: ‘I suddenly had this feeling, why am I adopting a stranger when I have Elaan? We were already living as a family.’

So she set out to adopt him.

The prepared the applications to obtain a declaration of parentage but since they were friends and not ‘conjugal’ partners, Lynda could not apply to legally adopt Elaan.

So the pair thought about fighting against it, arguing discrimination based on family status, but decided the expenses would be too much.

Instead, they hired their friend, Ottawa lawyer Marta Siemiarczuk, to help them make some written submissions to try and convince the court to declare Lynda a parent despite their unusual arrangement.

Fortunately, it worked and the court decided it was in the child’s best interest to grant the declaration of parentage to Lynda in November.

Now, after battling for two years to become his official co-parent, Elaan’s updated birth certificate has arrived with both of his mothers’ names on it.

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