Overview

All births that occur in Alberta must be registered with the Alberta government. The recording of a father/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 mother/person who gave birth and the father/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
  • the spouse of the mother/person who gave birth to the baby
  • the adult interdependent partner of the mother/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 mother/person who gave birth is a father/co-parent when:

  • the mother/person who gave birth and the father/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 father/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 father/co-parent, see sections 8 and 8.1 in the Family Law Act.

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

Adding a father/co-parent later with a parentage amendment

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

  • joint application
  • court order

The age of the child does not matter.

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

Cost

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

Joint application

To add a father/co-parent using the joint application process, both the mother/person who gave birth and the father/co-parent must jointly apply to have the father/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 mother/person who gave birth to the child or the father/co-parent being added.

Step 2. Send your request to Vital Statistics

Email, fax or mail the completed request form to Vital Statistics at:

Email: vsregistries@gov.ab.ca

Fax: 780-422-4225

Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7

After you apply

When Vital Statistics receives your request, they will write back to you with the requirements and necessary forms to complete. If all the requirements are met, the parentage on the Alberta birth record will be amended.

Court order

To add a father/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.

If the father/co-parent is deceased, contact us as a court order may not be required.

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 father/co-parent

Contact us 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 us for details if this applies to you.

Deleting a father/co-parent from a birth record

Once a father/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 us for details.

Contact

Connect with the Alberta Government Contact Centre:

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
PO Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7