Tardy declaration of filiation: after a certain time, it should no longer appear in search engines | Protecteur du Citoyen
March 11, 2019

Tardy declaration of filiation: after a certain time, it should no longer appear in search engines

Corps

Doigts d'une femme sur le clavier d'un ordinateur

The complaint

A citizen entered her name in an Internet search engine. She discovered that her father had recognized their filiation years after her birth. A family member of the citizen complained to the Québec Ombudsman.

The investigation

  • A citizen discovered a tardy declaration of filiation when she entered her name in a search engine (Google, for example). It had been made by her father years earlier. 
  • Filiation is a legal tie that connects a child to his or her parents. A parent may declare this connection after a certain time by completing a tardy declaration of filiation.
  • Before 2017, tardy declarations of filiation were published in La Gazette officielle du Québec website for several years. It could also be seen using search engines since its publication.
  • To have the declaration removed, a family member of the citizen contacted La Gazette. She also contacted the Directeur de l’état civil, the body responsible for this kind of declaration.
  • She was told that the content could not be withdrawn because the computer platform used did not enable such an operation.
  • During the investigation it conducted, the Québec Ombudsman contacted the Centre de services partagés du Québec (CSPQ), which is responsible for publications in La Gazette officielle du Québec
  • The Québec Ombudsman asked the CSPQ to remove the link from the search engines. When this is done, Web users can no longer find the link and, in turn, find the page.

The result

The CSPQ withdrew the link to the declaration page from the search engines. A procedure was also introduced to quickly resolve the situation if a similar scenario occurs. Declarations (tardy filiations, name changes, sex indication, marriages) published before 2017 are still available online. Search results can be removed by asking the Directeur de l’état civil.

Note that since 2017, tardy declarations of filiation are no longer posted on La Gazette officielle du Québec website but on that of the Directeur de l’état civil instead. As a result, they can no longer be found through search engines queries.


The Québec Ombudsman ensures that your rights are upheld in your dealings with Québec public services. Are you dissatisfied with the services of a Government of Québec department or agency? Or with those of a health and social services network institution (2nd level of recourse)? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman by calling 1-800-463-5070 or use our online complaint form.