I am in a relationship with someone who has a child. At some point, can I be considered a parent of that child?
This is an important question for those entering into a meaningful relationship with someone who has a child or children from another partner. In fact, there are many ways that allow someone to act as a parent in a family. One of these is where a person stands in loco parentis to a child. This simply means that a person stands in the place of a biological parent, which can result in the person having obligations and responsibilities toward a child as if the child were his or her own. Importantly, standing as a parent can end, so it does not have the same permanence as being a biological parent. The starting point in determining whether someone stands as a parent is the child’s best interests. You might then consider whether there is an intention of the person to act as a parent. A person’s intentions can be reflected in the role that he or she has played in the child’s life. If your relationship ends with the biological parent of the child, you might still have obligations toward the child with whom you stood in the place of a parent, including child support. We do a lot of family law. We offer a free initial consultation, and would be happy to meet with you at one of our three offices, including in Georgetown at 8 Guelph St., in the Lounsbury Life & Group Insurance Benefits building.