Podcast Episode 131: Co-mammas Fight for Their Rights

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 131 of The New Family Podcast where we talk to two women about legal co-parenting rights.

I am really delighted to welcome to the show Natasha Bakht and Lynda Collins, two lawyers and friends co-parenting seven-year-old Elaan, who has complex disabilities and care needs. Elaan is Natasha’s biological child, but late last year the two won a legal victory to have both of them recognized as co-parents on their little boy’s birth certificate.

Here are some resources related to my discussion with Natasha and Lynda.

CBC News story on Natasha, Lynda and Elaan

CBC Radio piece about Natasha and Lynda’s legal fight on The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti

Child-sharing: Meet the best friends who’ve legally adopted together

Natasha’s professional profile at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

Lynda’s professional profile at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

Ontario’s All Families Are Equal Act

Related Episode: Finding Your Tribe to Share the Parenting Journey

Related Episode: Best Friends on Friendship

These Two Moms Only Request when Adopting was for a Child with Down syndrome

Case where an Ontario child was declared to have three legal parents

Lynda’s Parenting Advice
“For me, it was my mom saying early, early on in Elaan’s life ‘You need to get support as a parent.’ And what she said was, it’s not that you won’t survive if you don’t have support, but it’s the difference between loving your parenting experience and having it be difficult. And I really feel that she was absolutely right. I can think of eight or 10 adults who have very significant roles in Elaan’s life and I do think that’s part of the reason why we mostly have a very happy family experience even in the midst of some of the challenges. A big secret to our happiness is that we’re surrounded by a network of loving, joyful people who also adore Elaan and are really there for all of us.”

Natasha’s Parenting Advice
“My parents came to Canada as a young couple and really didn’t have any family here, but it didn’t mean that we didn’t have an incredibly close network of friends. And I think Lynda is right that they really teach me through example. We had such a large community of friends who really felt like family to us. They provided us with the support that I think we try to give to Elaan now through our own colleagues at work, our close friends and our professional support.”

Photo credit: Alison Slattery

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by