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New Ontario Bill Fosters Child-Grandparent Relationships

New Ontario Bill Fosters Child-Grandparent Relationships

The Ontario government has just introduced a new Bill that aims to promote the relationship between children and their grandparents, primarily in situations where the child’s parents have separated or divorced.

Bill 67, titled “An Act to amend the Children’s Law Reform Act with respect to the relationship between a child and the child’s grandparents”, received its first reading on April 17, 2012.   If passed, the Bill will amend those provisions in the existing Children’s Law Reform Act (CLRA) which govern custody or access, by prohibiting the parents (or anyone else who is entitled to custody) from creating or maintaining unreasonable barriers to the formation and continuation of a personal relationship between the child and the child’s grandparents.

Simply put, the amendments strive to promote such connections between children and grandparents, by prohibiting parents or others with custody from actively preventing or impeding such relationships.

Also, Bill 67 would affect custody and access applications under the CLRA, by adding the child-grandparent relationship to the list of considerations that must be applied by a court.

Currently, all applications of this type require the court to evaluate the “best interests” of the child, taking into account the child’s needs and circumstances; these include consideration of the love, affection and emotional ties between the child and a list of other people (including the person with custody or access or other family members).  If Bill 67 is passed, this list will now include the child’s grandparents.

Also, the mandated “best interests” test for the court currently includes the following:

• the child’s views and preferences, if they can reasonably be ascertained;

• the length of time the child has lived in a stable home environment;

• the ability and willingness of each person applying for custody of the child to provide the child with guidance and education, the necessaries of life and any special needs of the child;

• the plan proposed by each person applying for custody of or access to the child for the child’s care and upbringing;

• the permanence and stability of the family unit with which it is proposed that the child will live;

• the ability of each person applying for custody of or access to the child to act as a parent; and

• the relationship by blood or through an adoption order between the child and each person who is a party to the application.

The new law would augment this list, to include consideration of whether the parent applying for custody is willing to facilitate contact with the child’s grandparents.

Admittedly, the Bill is still in the very early stages, and needs to proceed through second and third readings before it could  become law in Ontario.  However, few could argue that it represents anything other than a positive addition to family law in the province.

For a full copy of the proposed Bill, see:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/40_Parliament/Session1/b067.pdf

2 Comments
  1. Aneta #

    I’m a biological grandparent dealing to get acess to my oldest son1 grandson I I’ve higher alawyer over just to get acess 4hrs it awfull my Son luvs his son but is b a in the middle so of course he do what he feels. Lie. Agree and his ex girlfriend has caused so much pain and emotinal mentally on keeping me away from knowing my grandson. Let’s start she.has two girl with 2 prevoius. Girls neither fathers are out picture . I bonded with her children way before my grandson was ever in picture . I done baking and at holidays been present went out with the girls babysittied . Soon as my grandson was born I. Was alway force to take on all such age difference I still good to girls but never to ex she felt I bios the girls . I never one on one I had. Arange visits weekly I respected by calling ahead sometimes she say yes then no. But as my visits were being less given and my son and her were having problem she come out and lied jay was not the father I was positive till she hand a false maturnity test I arrange to meet her and wanted to see Evan she agree rhen she never did I was crushed I choose to not go to his first birthday over her I seek counceling over the torn lies and we had paid to take my son and grandson to have dna test he was mine . I thought I regain but she still would not buge And now I’m fighting to jst build bond I hope this bill goes through i 100%. I want just be able to a grandparent and enjoy the joys grand children bring out of Us and to be able be apart of something that created from ur owne first son . If place to join this group to fight for the bill please feel free

    August 12, 2012
  2. We have written several blogs on grandparent access. Please review them. We hope this helps.

    August 13, 2012

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