InfoCapsule: Relationship to the subscriber for a family plan

Disclaimer: RESP promoters

The information contained on this page is technical in nature and is intended for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and Canada Education Savings Program promoters. For general information, visit the RESP section.

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6. Relationship to the subscriber for a family plan

The Income Tax Act (ITA) requires that beneficiaries of family Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) are connected by blood or adoption to the subscriber. The ITA defines these terms as follows:

Blood relationship

A connection between a child AND each parent and between a child AND each set of grandparents. There is also a connection between siblings.


A brother or sister including the child of the common-law partner or spouse of a parent of the beneficiary.



When beneficiaries are legally adopted, they are considered to be connected to the adoptive parents and to both sets of grandparents.

In fact

In the case of a child of a spouse living in a common-law relationship, the beneficiary is considered to be adopted ‘in fact’ if the spouse provides parental care on a continuing basis.

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