The Calgary woman gave birth to a child in August 2005 after getting artifically inseminated with an anonymous donor's sperm. Her common-law husband had said he didn't want the parental or financial responsibility of a child.
She and her common-law husband had asked the courts to allow them to enter into a binding, written agreement absolving her husband of parental responsibility under Alberta's Family Law Act.
In February the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled against the agreement, saying the common-law husband would inevitably take on a parental role because he lives with the child.
The so-called family values crowd has long complained that the gradual liberalization of divorce and parental law in this country has made it too easy for people to walk away from their responsibilities as parents.
This ruling is actually quite clear that one's obligations as a parent - even as what amounts to a "step-parent" - are not easily absolved. I think that this is a good thing - while I am absolutely a proponent of broader, more flexible laws with respect to marriage and the recognition of varying forms of Family in law, I do not believe that anyone has the right to "walk away" from their responsibilities towards others, especially children.
I imagine that this ruling will be conveniently ignored by those who bleat so loudly about "activist courts"...