Rodica Radita, 51, and Emil Marian Radita, 62, of Calgary have been charged with first-degree murder.
Police have said their son, Alexandru Radita, died of a bacterial infection stemming from neglect and starvation due to Type 1 diabetes.
They allege his parents did not provide him with proper medical treatment and, when his health declined, confined him to his room.
The couple appeared via closed circuit TV but were kept in separate cells. They each spoke briefly with their lawyer by phone.
The case has been set over to March 13.
"We're in the very early stages. We're working with the Calgary Police Service to provide disclosure for both accused. At this stage they've both been detained by law," said Crown prosecutor Mike Ewenson.
"If they do make application for release, we will be opposed to that."
The couple, at the urging of friends, called an ambulance for the teen last May, said police. When officers arrived at the home, the boy was dead.
Officers wouldn't provide details of his condition when he was discovered, but described it as "extreme.''
Police said Alexandru had been diagnosed with diabetes several years earlier, when the family lived in British Columbia, and his parents had been taught how to treat him with insulin.
The parents have seven other children, most who are adults, and police said there's no evidence they were neglected.
Alexandru was being home-schooled and the family had little interaction with the community.
Defence lawyer Dennis Kolba said there will be a great deal of information to go over before the case gets to a possible bail hearing. At this point, he's not sure which of the two suspects he may end up representing.
"I've been consulted by both Mr. and Mrs.. Radita at this time and I may end up representing one of them. It is almost certain ... with co-accused on a serious charge there will be individual counsel for each accused."
Kolba said he expects there will be a bail application at some point.
"I would certainly think so. I don't know anyone who likes to sit in the remand centre especially when they have a family at home."Suggest a correction