To learn more about parental authority, go to Parental authority…or what are my rights and obligations towards my child?

Filiation is the legal link between a child and its parents. The conditions to be officially recognised as the father or mother of a child vary from province to province. In Quebec, a child can only have two parents at a time, either a mother and father, two mothers or two fathers. 

Why talk about filiation? Establishing a child’s filiation leads to rights and obligations as part of parental authority. Additionally, it allows you to travel abroad with your child or merely registering them and going to pick them up a school or daycare! 

In Quebec, filiation is established in the following ways:

  • By blood, a biological link between the child and their parent;
  • Adoption;
  • A couple’s (heterosexual or homosexual) parental project (assisted procreation);

Filiation can be proved using four different methods:

  • Voluntary recognition;
  • Uninterrupted possession of status;
  • Presumption of paternity;
  • Child’s birth certificate.


Child’s Birth Certificat:

After the birth of a child, the parents fill out and sign a birth declaration. The names written in this declaration are transcribed to the child’s birth certificate, which is proof of filiation with the child.

Presumption of Paternity 

A child born during a marriage or civil union to a heterosexual couple, or within 300 days following the dissolution or termination of the marriage or civil union, is presumed by law to have the spouse or partner as the father. This presumption does not apply to common-law partners or same-sex couples who are married or in a civil union. 

While there are four different ways to prove filiation, in practice, it’s the child’s birth certificate that will show to third parties that you are a child’s parent.

Please note that a child can only have two parents. As such, even if you consider your spouse’s child like yours for years, it does not establish filiation between you and the child. This is called psychological parentage! The only way to establish filiation with this child would through adoption, as long as the child doesn’t already have two parents! 

For more information and to see examples concerning:

  • Uninterrupted possession of status;
  • Voluntary recognition.

Please go to the Éducaloi website.

To continue reading, go to Applying Filiation to Assisted Procreation.