- Concealing a birth is the act of a parent, or other responsible person, failing to report the birth of a child.
- It is not a criminal offence to fail to report the birth of a newborn in Canada.
- However, in Ontario you are required to register the birth of a newborn baby within 30 days of the baby’s birth to be issued a birth certificate.
- Through Service Ontario, it is possible for new parents to at once:
1. register your newborn and to:
2. get a birth certificate
3. apply for a social insurance number (SIN)
4. and to sign up for Canada child benefits for their child
- The Ontario government recognizes that sometimes there are unavoidable circumstances that can prevent parents from registering their baby within the first 30 days of their life.
- These parents can still register their child’s birth within 12 months of the birth date. After 12 months, the process is lengthier and requires a fee.
- The term “concealing birth” is typically used when the appropriate authorities have not been informed about a stillbirth or the death of a newborn.
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Section 242 of the Criminal Code
- Section 242 outlines the offence that a female person who gives birth to a new born may be charged with in, particular circumstances in relation to the new born , if the new born suffers permanently injury , or dies.
- If charged and convicted under section 242 of the criminal code the accused could be sentenced up to a five-year term of incarceration.
242 A female person who, being pregnant and about to be delivered, with intent that the child shall not live or with intent to conceal the birth of the child, fails to make provision for reasonable assistance in respect of her delivery is, if the child is permanently injured as a result thereof or dies immediately before, during or in a short time after birth, as a result thereof, guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
- R.S., c. C-34, s. 226.
Marginal note:Concealing body of child
Section 243 of the Criminal Code:
- Section 243 outlines the criminal offence of disposing of the body of dead body of a child, while intending to conceal the fact that the child’s mother had delivered it.
- Even in the case that the child before it was delivered it is still a criminal offence to conceal the birth and dispose of the child’s body without contacting the appropriate authorities.
- If charged and convicted under section 243 of the criminal code the accused could be sentenced to a maximum of two years incarceration.
243 Every one who in any manner disposes of the dead body of a child, with intent to conceal the fact that its mother has been delivered of it, whether the child died before, during or after birth, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
- If you have been charged under section 242 or section 243 of the criminal code there are viable defences available to you. Contact Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers to book your free consultation!