COVID-19 response to birth records
During this pandemic, hospitals are only allowing a father/co-parent to attend their spouse for a short time when having a baby. This does not always give the father/co-parent an opportunity to sign the Registration of Birth and record themselves on their baby’s birth record. In response to COVID-19, Vital Statistics has made temporary changes to its legislation to address this. A father/co-parent will be recorded on their baby’s birth record without their signature on the Registration of Birth form when the mother/person who gave birth provides all their information. This applies to babies born March 17, 2020 through August 14, 2020. Amendments will not have to be made later to record the father/co-parent. If you are unsure if the father/co-parent is recorded, contact Vital Statistics.
For more information about Alberta’s COVID-19 response, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.
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.
There is a $20 government fee to amend a birth record when 90 days have passed from a child’s date of birth.
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:
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.
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.
Connect with the Alberta Government Contact Centre:
PO Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7