Overview

All births that occur in Alberta must be registered with the Alberta government. The recording of a co-parent is a permanent part of a child’s birth record.

In Alberta, only 2 parents can be recorded on a birth record. This is usually the person who gave birth and the co-parent.

What is a co-parent

A co-parent is not a person who may be helping raise the baby, a relative or a guardian of the baby.

A co-parent can be:

  • the biological parent of a child (for example, father)
  • the spouse of the person who gave birth to the baby
  • the adult interdependent partner of the person who gave birth to the baby
    • ‘adult interdependent partner’ is a term that carries legal meanings similar to common law, but is not the same

When a baby is conceived by assisted reproduction, the spouse/partner of the person who gave birth is a co-parent when:

  • the person who gave birth and the co-parent were either married or in a conjugal relationship at the time of the assisted conception
  • the person consented in advance of conception to being a co-parent of the resulting baby and did not withdraw that consent before the baby was conceived

For the full definition of who can be legally recorded as a co-parent, see sections 8 and 8.1 in the Family Law Act.

Adding a co-parent on a Registration of Birth form (at time of birth)

A Registration of Birth form must be completed to register a birth. A co-parent can be added to the baby’s birth record when the form is completed. Both the person who gave birth and the co-parent must sign the Registration of Birth form. Some exceptions may apply. Contact Vital Statistics for full details.

Adding a co-parent later with a parentage amendment

There are 2 ways to add a co-parent to a child’s birth record:

  • joint application
  • court order

The age of the child does not matter.

There cannot be a co-parent already recorded on the birth record. If there is a co-parent already on the birth record, that person must first be deleted.

Cost

There is a $20 government fee to amend the birth record when 90 days have passed from the child’s date of birth.

Joint application

To add a co-parent using the joint application process, both the person who gave birth and the co-parent must jointly apply to have the co-parent added to the birth record.

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Step 1. Complete the request for amendment form

Request to Amend a Vital Statistics Registration (PDF, 169 KB)

The request form must be signed by either the person who gave birth to the child or the co-parent being added.

Step 2. Complete the affidavit form

Affidavit: Amendment of Parentage (PDF, 341 KB)

The affidavit must be completed by both the person who gave birth to the child and the co-parent being added.

If the parents agree, the name of the child (when younger than 18 years old) can be amended at the same time on the affidavit.

Do not sign the affidavit at this time.

Step 3. Go to a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths

Take the completed affidavit to a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths.

The person who gave birth and the co-parent must both sign the affidavit with the Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths.

Step 4. Find any existing birth certificates

All Alberta birth certificates with personal information and parentage issued before the amendment must by law be surrendered to Vital Statistics.

Surrendered birth certificates will be cancelled and replaced free of charge with new birth certificates reflecting the newly added co-parent.

Step 5. Mail your application

Mail the original completed request, affidavit and existing Alberta birth certificates (style: birth certificate with personal information and parentage) to Vital Statistics at:

Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7

Photocopies, scans, emails and faxes are not accepted. Only an affidavit with original signatures will be accepted.

You can also drop off your application documents at a registry agent and ask them to send it to Vital Statistics on your behalf. The registry agent may charge an additional fee for this service.

After you apply

When Vital Statistics receives your application, they will examine the documents. If all the requirements are met, the parentage on the Alberta birth record will be amended.

If information is missing or there are any discrepancies in information, your application may be delayed.

Documents and certificates are sent to you by regular mail.

Court order

To add a co-parent using a court order in accordance with Section 11 of the Vital Statistics Act, the following requirements apply:

  • the court order must be issued by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench under Section 9 of the Family Law Act or be an order issued within Canada that is substantially similar to Alberta's court order.
  • the co-parent may be alive or deceased.

The same court order (if it includes necessary information) may also be used to:

  • amend the child’s name (when the child is younger than 18 years old).
  • remove a person already recorded on the child’s birth record as a co-parent.

Contact Vital Statistics for details.

Adding a parent as a result of a surrogacy order or adoption order

Persons who become a parent as a result of a surrogacy order or an adoption order are recorded using a different process, as there is a court order involved. Contact Vital Statistics for details if this applies to you.

Deleting a co-parent from a birth record

Once a co-parent has been added to a birth record, they can only be changed or removed with a court order in accordance with Section 11 of the Vital Statistics Act .

The court order must be issued by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench under Section 9 of the Family Law Act or be an order issued in Canada that is substantially similar to Alberta's court order.

Contact Vital Statistics for details.

Contact

Connect with Alberta Vital Statistics:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

For the deaf or hard-of-hearing:
TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)

Email: vs@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7

Courier:
Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C5