Ministère de la Justice
Filiation is the legal relationship between a child and a parent. Acknowledgment of filiation has a number of consequences, in particular the following:
Thus, steps may be taken to prove, contest or claim filiation. There are three types of filiation:
Filiation by blood Filiation by blood, meaning through a biological tie, is established by the act of birth. The Directeur de l'état civil issues that document after receiving a child's declaration of birth completed by the parents, and accompanied by a copy of the attestation of birth completed by the physician or midwife. Filiation by assisted procreationFiliation is said to be by assisted procreation when the child's birth is the result of a parental project involving the use of the ovum or sperm of a third party, with or without medical assistance. That filiation is established in the same manner as filiation by blood, that is, by the act of birth. Filiation by adoption Filiation by adoption is established by an adoption judgment. It gives the child and the adoptive parent the same rights and obligations as filiation by blood. The Directeur de l’état civil thus draws up a new act of birth for the child. Proof of filiation In certain situations, it is necessary to prove a parent's filiation with the child, for example:
Filiation can be proved by:
Act of birth The act of birth issued by the Directeur de l’état civil is the principal proof establishing filiation. Uninterrupted possession of statusUninterrupted possession of status is established when a person has believed he or she was the child's parent since birth and has always acted as such. Possession of status is established by an adequate combination of facts indicating the relationship between the child and the person who assuming the role of father or second mother. Possession of status must be uninterrupted from the child's birth. In the absence of an act of birth, uninterrupted possession of status is usually sufficient to prove filiation. Presumption of paternityLegally, a man is presumed to be the father of a child his spouse or former spouse gives birth to
The presumption of paternity applies only to legal marriages and civil unions between opposite-sex individuals. Therefore, it does not apply in the case of a de facto union. Presumption of parenthoodPresumption of parenthood exists when the birth of a child is the result of a parental project involving assisted procreation, between spouses who are married or in a civil union. The presumption applies to opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples. Voluntary acknowledgment Voluntary acknowledgment involves a declaration made by the father or mother attesting to filiation with the child. It may be used as proof of filiation if filiation cannot be established otherwise. That declaration binds only the person who makes it and cannot impugn filiation already established by other mode of proof. Contestation of filiation A person may file an action in court contesting filiation with respect to a child. Depending on the applicant, a contestation of filiation may be in one of three forms:
However, a parent's filiation cannot be contested if that person's name appears on the act of birth and filiation is confirmed by uninterrupted possession of status. In fact, according to law, the interest of the child and the stability of the family take precedence over blood ties. Action for disavowal An application for disavowal involves cases where a presumed father wants to prove that he is not the child's father. It must be filed within one year of the child's birth or of the day when the presumed father became aware of the birth. Action contesting paternity An application contesting paternity is when a mother wants to contest a presumed father's paternity. It must be filed within one year of the child's birth. Action for contestation of status An application for contestation of status concerns:
The application must be filed within 30 years of the child's birth. Claiming filiation A person may file an action in court claiming status, to have filiation acknowledged. The application may be made, in particular, by
In certain cases, the application must be preceded by a motion contesting filiation. An application claiming status must be filed at the courthouse. The period generally allowed a person to claim filiation is 30 years from the child's birth or from the date of the judgment that deprived the child of filiation. Note A person cannot establish filiation with a child of his or her spouse by filing an application for contestation of status. However, he or she may file an application for adoption.
Anyone who wants to:
Civil Code of Québec , 1991, chapter 64, art. 132, 523 to 537 and 597 to 612
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