How can I prove my parents are my parents?
July 28, 2005 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Canadian proof of parenthood - does such a thing exist? A bit of an obscure question I know, but I require some official, government-provided proof that my parents are, in fact, my parents.

Notarization or legal affidavits won't suffice. I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and my birth certificate makes no mention of who my parents are, nor does any other official document I have. The people I've called (at the Ministry of Health, and others) have no clue as to what I'm talking about, nor do they understand why I would need such a thing. I require the proof in order to obtain the citizenship of the country my parents were born in, but understandably, they're not too interested at taking me at my word. Something that my parents would have that would proove I am their child would also work, however that doesn't seem to exist either. Anyone been through this? Have any ideas? I am completely stumped.
posted by loquax to Law & Government (14 answers total)
Your birth certificate doesn't list your parents? Is that something that's standard in Canada? (It's not here).
Things that I would try: Contact the hospital that you were born at. They may have records, though I don't know how old you are so they may have destroyed them. If you were religious, a decent supporting document could be your baptismal or confirmation documents. I don't know if your parents announced the birth in the paper, but that might help.
What country are you trying to get citizenship in? They might have a better idea as to what documentation you need...
posted by klangklangston at 6:46 AM on July 28, 2005

Best answer: Are you looking at your small laminated birth certificate card? Or the larger paper certificate? The paper one may list information that the laminated one doesn't.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:00 AM on July 28, 2005

Best answer: Your long-form birth certificate lists your parents (as long as you weren't adopted in the days of closed adoption). If you were adopted, the adoption papers should suffice. Assuming that

You can order it by filling out this form [pdf].* Mail it in, pay your $35. Pretty simple.

*Google search: birth certificate order copy Toronto. First hit.
posted by raedyn at 7:09 AM on July 28, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, apparantly Ontario does not list the parents on the birth certificate. Which now seems insane (although I hadn't once even thought about it before).

I'm trying to get citizenship in Romania, and I know all of the requirements. In fact I was just there, at the right office (finally) with all my documentation in hand, when the official gave me a long stare and asked how on Earth I could prove that I was entitled to citizenship if I couldn't prove that I was the child of citizens. Which was an excellent if supremely bureaucratic point.

I'm not religious, never baptized or anything like that. I'm looking into hospital records, however something issued by the government as some form of ID would be far better. Age of majority card, or something like that. Hunting and fishing license?

On preview: The little laminated one. There's another one? The little card is the only thing I have, and was ever aware of. I'll look into what you're talking about, if you have any details, it would be greatly appreciated!
posted by loquax at 7:09 AM on July 28, 2005

(err.. make that ...)
Assuming that the country you are attempting to gain citizenship in will recognize adopted children.
posted by raedyn at 7:10 AM on July 28, 2005

Response by poster: Fantastic, thanks jacquilynne and raedyn. It would have been easier to google it if I had known that there was more than one birth certificate. As it was, I already had my (short) birth certificate and didn't need another.

I appreciate the help all!
posted by loquax at 7:13 AM on July 28, 2005

Is it a provincial thing? My brother was born in Quebec and his birth certificate lists my mum and dad.
posted by Rothko at 7:21 AM on July 28, 2005

Wouldn't a quick blood test clear this up?
posted by soplerfo at 7:35 AM on July 28, 2005

Rothko: Each province has it's own Registrar, and the document does vary from province to province.


All have two versions, one with parents' names, and one without. (and likely the rest of the provinces, too. That's all I bothered to search. Sorry to the Maritimers.)
posted by raedyn at 7:37 AM on July 28, 2005

Response by poster: Rothko - yes, birth certificates vary from province to province. It looks like the long certificate suggested will have all that info too.

Soplerfo - I suggested that to the authorities, but they said that it must be done in Romania, which added additional layers of complexity.
posted by loquax at 7:40 AM on July 28, 2005

...and keep that long-form birth certificate for the time when you renew your Canadian passport.

I had to write to Quebec authorities to get a long-form certificate to renew my passport, as the certificate of baptism I had been using for decades (to renew successive iterations of passports) was no longer acceptable as a 'proof' document.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:51 AM on July 28, 2005

Best answer: raedyn writes "You can order it by filling out this form [pdf].* Mail it in, pay your $35. Pretty simple."

Actually, you can fill out the application online if you have a credit card. We just applied for my son's long for birth certificate (and regular one as well) online and got the documents in 3 business days!! Of course, I had emailed the Minister and my MPP about a change to my son's birth registration that was taking for ever so I suspect there was a flag on his file. Anyways, they say if you do it online it will take 10 business days plus delivery time.
posted by smcniven at 9:01 AM on July 28, 2005

Hello, welcome to my boat. If you're adopted you may never get the required papers and will find your access to certain things (in my case a British citizenship I'm deserved) severely restricted.

With the newer lax adoption rules Ontario has taken on (which various MPs are fighting voiciferously) you temporarialy will have the same right to information that a whole person in Ontario has. I suggest going to Family & Child Services ASAP and getting any info you can before you are considered less than a full person in the eyes of the law.

Your adoption papers will not suffice, at least in my case. You can't get those anyways.

Of course, if you're not adopted, then you can ignore this.
posted by shepd at 9:55 AM on July 28, 2005

shepd - thanks for correcting my woefully ignorant assumption.
posted by raedyn at 11:00 AM on July 28, 2005

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