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Transgender, Transsexual
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Children: Custody, Access, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]

Courts & Tribunals

On 05 July 2013, the Court of Appeal upheld 2-1 the Queen's Bench ruling that names a gay man H the legal father of his former partner R's biological daughter S, giving H the right to challenge custody arrangements for increased access to the girl [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Memorandum of Judgment: D.W.H. v D.J.R. 2013 ABCA 240 PDF 154.17kb, 05 JUL 13
R1.1 GayStarNews: Canadian court rules 10-year-old girl can legally have two dads 13 JUL 13
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References


On 01 June 2003, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act was proclaimed in force

Adult Interdependent Relationships Act [L1.1]

Application of Act

2 This Act applies to adult interdependent relationships arising before or after this Act comes into force.

Adult interdependent partner

3(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person is the adult interdependent partner of another person if

(a) the person has lived with the other person in a relationship of interdependence

(i) for a continuous period of not less than 3 years, or

(ii) of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption,


(b) the person has entered into an adult interdependent partner agreement with the other person under section 7 [L1.2].


In April 2003, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act was about to be proclaimed by the province as law, but it was mooted it may be sent back to the drawing board to include a same-sex registry [R2.1].

In December 2002, Alberta extended equal pension rights to the partners of gay and lesbian employees throughout its civil service [R1.1].

In November 2002, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, if passed, would affect some 53 pieces of legislation, from health-care insurance to civil enforcement and numerous legislation related to family law [R2.4].

On 07 May 2002, two bills were introduced by Premier Ralph Klein's government under which same-sex couples in Alberta would enjoy some of the same legal rights as married couples [R2.2].

The government planned to hold the bills over until the fall to gauge public reaction to it [R2.2].

In January 2002, a review of family law released by Justice Minister Dave Hancock recommended that Alberta should extend the same legal benefits to same-sex relationships as married couples [R2.3].

Hancock said the province would give Albertans until March 1 to react to the same-sex relationship proposal and changes to other family laws.

In May 1999, the Domestic Relations Amendment Act, defined a common-law union as "a relationship between two people of the opposite sex" who have lived in a "marriage-like" relationship for at least three years or who have a child and have been living together in a relationship of "some permanence" [R2.5].

In March 1999, Conservative MLAs agreed to defer the thorny issue of what benefits should be provided to common-law and same-sex couples [R2.6].


Courts & Tribunals

In December 2002, Alberta's Human Rights Commission ruled that the Alberta Health policy denying family coverage to same-sex couples was discriminatory [R3.1].

In 1998, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that spousal support provisions in the Domestic Relations Act were unconstitutional because they only applied to married couples who break up [R3.2].

L1.1 Government of Alberta: Adult Interdependent Relationships Act (accessed 29 JUN 09)
L1.2 Government of Alberta: Alberta Regulation 141/2003 (accessed 29 JUN 09)
R1.1 National Post: Alberta Extends Pension Rights to Gay Partners 20 MAY 02
R2.1 Edmonton Sun: Registry Not Part of Relationships Legislation 02 APR 03
R2.2 Canadian Press: Alberta to Give Same-sex Couples Similar Rights as Married Couples 07 MAY 02
R2.3 Canadian Press: Alberta to Extend Legal Benefits to Same-sex Marriages After Public Review 10 JAN 02
R2.4 Calgary Sun: Expanded rights for gay couples 18 NOV 02
R2.5 The Edmonton Journal: Same-sex Couples Excluded from Bill 15 MAY 99
R2.6 Edmonton Journal: More Review for Same-Sex Issues 19 MAR 99
R3.1 Calgary Sun: Gays laud family status ruling 06 DEC 02
R3.2 Edmonton Journal: More Review for Same-Sex Issues 19 MAR 99
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References


On 10 March 2015, the Assembly amended and passed Bill 10 making the support groups such as gay-straight alliances mandatory in all publicly-funded schools in the Canadian province if requested by one or more students. The law is expected to come into effect on 01 June [L1.3], [R1.2].

In 1997, discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation was not unlawful [R1.1].

See now 2. Courts & Tribunals below


Courts & Tribunals

In April 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered Alberta to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination [C2.2], [R2.1].

L1.3 Bill 10: An Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect Our Children Amendment A6 PDF 578.49kb, 10 MAR 15
R1.2 GayStarNews: Canada: Alberta gov't makes gay-straight alliances mandatory after year of fighting them 11 MAR 15
R1.1 Capital Q: Gay Benefits Out 05 NOV 07
C2.2 IGLHRC: Vriend v. Alberta 10 DEC 98
R2.1 Capital Q: Court Orders Protection 09 APR 98

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Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References


Same-sex couples have the same rights to the estate of a deceased partner as opposite-sex couples [R2.2].

In April 2003, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act reportedly would, when proclaimed by the province as law, set up a series of rules on how same-sex couples can split up their assets if the relationship goes sour [R1.1].

[Ed: As at 29 June 2009, neither the proclaimed Act nor the Regulations appear to address the issue of the division of assets upon the breakup of an interdependent relationship.]


Courts & Tribunals

In November 2001, Justice Del Perras ordered the province to change the law that discriminates against same-sex partners within nine months [R2.1].

In April 2001, Justice Del Perras of the Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench declared the province's estate law unconstitutional because it did not give homosexual couples the same rights to the estate of a deceased partner as it gives heterosexuals [C2.1], [R2.2].

The judge ruled that the Intestate Succession Act contravened the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it gave the estate of a gay man who died without a will to his children rather than sharing it with his same-sex partner.

In March 2001, lawyers for the government told the court that they would not stand in the way of a lawsuit brought by a gay man challenging the province’s inheritance laws [R2.3].

The Alberta government subsequently amended the law [R2.4].

C2.1 Johnson v. Sand 2001 ABQB 253
R2.1 Canadian Press: Alberta Given More Time to Change Same-Sex Law 04 NOV 01
R2.2 Edmonton Journal: Charter Case Prompts Alberta to Review Laws Affecting Gays 03 APR 01
R2.3 The Advocate: Alberta Government Won’t Challenge Gay Inheritance Suit 02 MAR 01
R2.4 Professor Karen Busby: GOSSIP's Position on Bill 53 02 AUG 02
R1.1 Edmonton Sun: Registry not part of relationships legislation 02 APR 03
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual



On 20 February 2015, the Alberta Government reportedly established new regulations to simplify the process for transgender residents to change their birth certificates by providing a signed affidavit stating their identifying gender together with a supporting letter from an accredited physician or psychologist. Gender reassignment surgery is not required [R1.5].

On 15 June 2014, Alberta's culture minister, Heather Klimchuk presented 12-year-old f2m transgender boy Wren Kauffman with a new birth certificate that simply has an “M” instead of an “F”, recognizing him as male. Kauffman had filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission over the inability to change the sex on his birth certificat [R1.4].

On 17 March 2014, it was reported that the government would introduce legislation to allow transgender persons to change their birth certificates without having to first undergo gender reassignment surgery [R1.3].

On 08 June 2012, Health Minister Fred Horne was reported to have announced that Alberta will reinstate funding for gender reassignment surgeries 15 June, enabling up to 25 people per year to have the surgery for a total annual cost of about $1 million [R1.2].


In April 2009, Health Minister Ron Liepert said the Province would pay for almost 50 final genital reassignment surgeries before ceasing funding for the operations [R1.1].


Courts & Tribunals

On 22 April 2014, Justice Brian Burrows in the Court of Queen's Bench ruled that the law requiring transgender persons to have reassignment surgery before they can change the sex on their birth certificates violates their rights, giving the government 30 days to issue a new birth certificate to the applicant [C.F.], a 23-year-old [MtF] transgender woman [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.5 EdmontonJournal: New rules for transgender Albertans to alter birth records 20 FEB 15
R1.4 MetroNews: Transgender Alberta boy gets new birth certificate 15 JUN 14
R1.3 CBC News: Alberta to recognize validity of same-sex marriages 17 APR 14
R1.2 CTV News: Alberta reinstates funding for gender reassignment surgery 08 JUN 12
R1.1 Alberta agrees to fund final 50 genital reassignment surgeries 15 APR 09
C2.2 Judgment: C.F. v. Alberta (Vital Statistics) 2014 ABQB 237 PDF 254.35kb, 22 APR 14
R2.1 MontrealGazette: Transgender issues: Alberta judge rules law violates rights 23 APR 14
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References


On 21 December 2010, the Province finally scrubbed homosexuality from its diagnostic guide to mental disorders, more than thirty-five years after the psychiatric profession made the same move [R1.1].


Courts & Tribunals

In June 2001, a city man who claimed he killed a Mexican immigrant who was gay in self-defence because the man threatened to rape him at knifepoint was acquitted of murder [R2.1].

R1.1 The Canadian Press: Alberta hastily scrubs homosexuality as disorder from diagnostic guide 22 DEC 10
R2.1 Edmonton Sun: Not Guilty in Gay Sex Killing 23 JUN 01
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References


See Federal - Marriage

On 17 March 2014, although the federal government made same-sex marriages legal in 2005, the Albert Government is reportedly to introduce legislation to amend the Marriage Act to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages [R1.1].



In March 2000, Bill 202, or the Marriage Amendment Act was voted into law by Alberta's legislative assembly, defining marriage to be exclusively "between a man and a woman," and further invoking the notwithstanding clause to ensure the bill continues to hold force in the face of any future challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [R2.1].

R1.1 CBC News: Alberta to recognize validity of same-sex marriages 17 APR 14
R2.1 Edmonton Sun: Marriage Law Dangerous: Says Law Professor 19 MAR 00
National Post: Alberta Bill Bans Same-sex Marriages 17 MAR 00
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References


Alberta allows same-sex couples to jointly adopt children [R1.1].

In January 2001, the first couple took advantage of the Court ruling allowing second-parent adoption [R1.2].


In 1999, The government changed the wording of the Child Welfare Act to allow for adoption by a homosexual step-parent [R1.3].


Courts & Tribunals

On 05 July 2013, the Court of Appeal upheld 2-1 the Queen's Bench ruling that names a gay man H the legal father of his former partner R's biological daughter S, giving H the right to challenge custody arrangements for increased access to the girl [C2.5], [R2.4].

On 12 October 2011, in D.W.H. v. D.J.R., Justice Susan Bensler in the Court of Queen's Bench ruled a gay Calgary man identified as H be granted legal parent status of his ex partner R's biological child S, with R declared guardian [C2.3], [R2.2].

In November 1999, Justice Peter Martin in the Court of Queen's Bench allowed the partners of two lesbian mothers to adopt children [R2.1].

R1.1 The Ottawa Citizen: Children's Aid Society Seeks Gay Foster parents 20 OCT 02
The Advocate: Gay Couples Quickly Winning Adoption Rights in Canada 11 JUL 01
R1.2 Planet Out: Calgary Lesbians Adopt - Easily 29 JAN 01
R1.3 The Edmonton Journal: Gay Step-parent Adoption OK'd 14 MAY 99
C2.5 Memorandum of Judgment: D.W.H. v D.J.R. 2013 ABCA 240 PDF 154.17kb, 05 JUL 13
R2.4 GayStarNews: Canadian court rules 10-year-old girl can legally have two dads 13 JUL 13
C2.3 Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta: D.W.H. v. D.J.R., 2011 ABQB 608 PDF 240.11kb, 12 OCT 11
R2.2 CalgarySUN: Groundbreaking ruling in gay custody case 19 OCT 11
R2.1 Canadian Press: Court Approves Lesbian Adoptions 26 NOV 99

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