A person can become a parent in different ways, including through the birth of their biological child, adoption, or surrogacy. 

These resources help to explain different types of parenting arrangements for parents who aren't together, and how you can get help figuring out those arrangements if you separate. 

Not all parents are guardians of their children. Learn more about what it means to be a guardian and spending time with a child if you're not a guardian.

Who is a parent?

Who is classified as a parent of a child and how you can become a parent.

Parenting apart

Explains the different terms used to describe parenting after separation, such as:  

  • guardianship, parenting responsibilities, parenting time, and contact with a child under the BC Family Law Act, and 

  • decision-making responsibility, parenting time, and contact under the federal Divorce Act. 

Parenting After Separation class

Parenting After Separation is a free online class that all parents going through separation must complete before they can apply for family law orders in Provincial Court. The class takes about three to four hours. It can be done all at once or in several sessions. This class is designed to help separating parents communicate with each other to resolve conflict and make parenting decisions that are in the best interests of their children.

Parenting coordinators

If you and your spouse can't agree about how you'll share parenting time and responsibilities after you separate, a parenting coordinator might be able to help.

Step-parents' rights and responsibilities

Information about step-parents' right to contact with their stepchildren after separation, how to become a guardian or apply for parenting time, and when step-parents are required to pay child support.