Tutorship to a person under the age of 18

The provisions of the Act to amend the Civil Code and other legislative provisions as regards adoption and the disclosure of information came into force in their entirety on June 16, 2018. The Act aims to meet the present-day realities of Québec families and Aboriginal communities.

Until your child reaches the age of 18, he or she cannot exercise all his or her civil rights. As the parent, you must provide assistance and act in your child's place to protect his or her interests. This means that you are your child's legal tutor.

You can designate two other types of tutor for your child:

  • a dative tutor, to replace you if, for example, your and your spouse both die or become incapable before your child reaches the age of majority;
  • a suppletive tutor, to help you exercise parental authority and discharge your duties as a legal tutor.

Suppletive tutorship

Unlike adoption, suppletive tutorship does not break the bond of filiation between you and your child. Instead, it allows you to delegate your responsibilities with respect to your child to another person, or to share them. Since your child cannot have more than two parental figures, you can designate either

  • one suppletive tutor, if you want to share your responsibilities;
  • or two suppletive tutors, if you want to delegate your responsibilities and those of the child's other parent.

The court must authorize the designation of a suppletive tutor. You can decide to designate a tutor in various situations, for example if

  • you have serious health problems;
  • you find it difficult to raise a child alone.

The role of the suppletive tutor will be to make various decisions with respect to your child, in particular concerning healthcare and management of the child's property.

Suppletive tutorship in Aboriginal communities

A child in an Aboriginal community can also be entrusted to a suppletive tutor in accordance with custom.

Suppletive tutorship in an Aboriginal community must be attested by a competent Aboriginal authority, whose role is to

  • verify that the child's rights and interest are respected;
  • ensure that the parents, the tutor and the adopted child, if old enough to understand, consent to tutorship;
  • issue an Aboriginal suppletive tutorship certificate.
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