Using Artificial Insemination to have a baby in your Same Sex Relationship
The law specifically states who is considered to be the mother and father / mother and mother / father and father, of the child, when the child is conceived through artificial conception with donated genetic material.
Changes were made to the Family Law Act 1975 some time ago that recognise the role of both partners as parents, in a same sex de facto relationship.
Accordingly, these laws apply to both heterosexual relationships and those in same sex relationships.
Female Same Sex Relationships
When a child is born to a female same sex couple, the law presumes the child’s mother to be the partner who carried the pregnancy and gave birth to the child.
The child is a child of both de facto partners, provided:
- the same sex couple was a de facto couple at the time the artificial conception procedure was carried out; and
- the non-birth parent consented to the carrying out of the artificial conception procedure.
Who provided the genetic material, or whether the genetic material is provided by several different people, is not relevant.
This means it is not relevant whether both donor sperm and donor ova were used, such that the child has no biological relationship to either parent.
Female Same Sex Relationships – Registering the Birth
Both same sex partners can be listed as “parents” on the child’s Birth Certificate.
Note though that only the partner who carried the pregnancy and gave birth to the child can be listed as the child’s mother.
In some Australian States, female same sex couples can have a child through a surrogacy arrangement.
In those circumstances both partners would also be recognised as the child’s parents under both State and Federal Law and both parents could be listed on the child’s Birth Certificate.
Male Same Sex Relationships
Even though the definition of “parent” includes heterosexual de facto couples and female same sex couples, it does not cover male same sex couples.
This is because the definition of parent refers to a child born to a woman.
Accordingly, the definition of parent in the Federal Family Law Act 1975 and various State Acts do not assist male same sex couples who wish to be recognised as parents of a child.
Many Australian States do not allow adoption by same sex de facto couples.
Different laws apply in each State to surrogacy arrangements.
Male Same Sex Relationships – Registering the Birth
Generally speaking, if a male same sex couple has a child through a lawful surrogacy arrangement, the partners would be recognised as the child’s parents under State and Federal law and both parents could be listed on the child’s Birth Certificate.
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Other Pages in the Same Sex Relationships Section
- Same Sex Relationships Laws Overview
- Necessity of & How to Register a Same Sex Relationship
- Same Sex Couples: Civil Unions
- Can Same Sex Couples Foster or Adopt Children
- Using Artificial Insemination to have a baby in a Same Sex Relationship
- Should you do a Binding Financial Agreement to protect yourself?
- What type of Binding Financial Agreement do you need?
- Requirements for a Court to say you are in a De Facto Relationship
- Use this checklist to see if you are in a De Facto Relationship
- What are the Time Limits for De Facto Relationships
- The law for Qld De Facto Couples who separated before 1 March 2009
- How to protect your assets