Changes to the law, which took effect in 2010, mean that in Victoria most same-sex parented families can now be legally recognised. In fact, same-sex parents can also amend their children’s birth certificates and donor information. This would be done to reflect the reality of their legal parentage and donor origins. In some cases one or both of the intended parents in a same-sex relationship will need to make applications through the courts to be recognised as the parent of their intended child. This will of course depend on the circumstances of conception of a child. Boers Associates are experts in same-sex parenting issues.
In Victoria following the 2010 law reforms, if you began your same-sex relationship after your children were conceived, then the non-biological parent can be recognised as a step-mother or step-father in the same way as a step-parent of an opposite-sex relationship can. While same-sex couples are able to be foster carers, current Victorian law does not allow same-sex couples to adopt a child together. In the case of a female couple, who used a known sperm donor, Victorian law post-2010 reform states that a donor is not a legal father or parent. Only the mother and her partner can be listed as parents on the birth certificate.
Where a same-sex relationship ends, legal parentage of the children of the relationship is not affected. Same-sex parents can negotiate their own shared care arrangements. If the same-sex parents are unable to reach agreement, the courts may be called upon for orders to be made, in the same way as heterosexual parents can. The court will recognise both parties as parents. The court must start with the presumption that it is in the child’s best interests to have an ongoing relationship with both parents.
Boers Associates are experienced in advising and representing same-sex parents and intending parents. You can be confident that your matter is being managed by one of Australia’s leading experts in the field of Reproductive and Family Law.