Court Gives Ontario Boy Three Parents

In an odd but groundbreaking court ruling — involving the definition of a family where same-sex partners are involved — a Canadian court declared a 5-year-old Ontario boy can legally have a father and two mothers, the International Herald Tribune reports.

The child has been raised since birth by his biological mother and her gay partner, who have been together since 1990. The boy's biological father has been involved in his life from the start, but has moved on to another woman and has another child.

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This ruling clears the legal relationship between the boy and the newly crowned second mother — if the biological mother unexpectedly dies, the partner maintains custody.

"There's no fragility in my status with him now," she said.

The newly crowned mother said her lack of legal status not only hindered her socially, but prevented her from acting on behalf of the boy with his school or doctors.

The court decision overturns a 2003 ruling, and has been the center of scrutiny by religious and family groups for undermining what they say are traditional definitions of marriage.

The two women had considered adoption, which would have given the partner legal status. However, under Ontario law, it would have stripped the father of his parental status, something the women said would be unfair to the boy.'s Michael De Dora Jr. contributed to this report.