Public Interest Law Centre (PILC)

Gender & Sexual Orientation

Same-sex Adoption

In 2001, the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) launched a Charter challenge on behalf of four same-sex couples to address a limitation in Manitoba’s adoption laws. Under the then existing law, there was no bar against a single person, regardless of sexual orientation, from becoming an adoptive parent. However, same-sex couples could not legally adopt.

In practice this meant that one member of a couple would become the legal adoptive parent, while the other member of the couple (who would be equally as involved in parenting) would have no legal standing as a parent.

Before the case went to court, the provincial government determined that the law would not survive a court challenge. As a result, in 2002, the law was amended to allow for same-sex adoption.