If a child of a lesbian couple is conceived by a consensual artificial insemination procedure and the couple were living together at the time of the procedure, then both the biological and non-biological partner are deemed to be the child’s parents. In turn, it is possible for both mothers to be listed as the child’s parents on the child’s birth certificate. As parents, both the biological and non-biological mother are deemed to have joint parental responsibility for decisions concerning their child’s long term care, welfare and development.
However, when a same-sex relationship breaks down, resolving parenting arrangements can be fraught with difficulties. Often the biological parent claims to have a “greater entitlement” to the child and in many cases, seeks to exclude the other parent entirely. Things become even more complicated if the sperm donor is known to the lesbian couple and further, if it is intended between all parties, for that person to take an active role in the child’s life.
Applications to the Federal Circuit and Family Courts are not exclusive to “parents”. Other people who are concerned with the care and welfare of a child also have standing to bring an Application for relief in relation to parenting arrangements for a child. This includes a non-biological parent who maybe wasn’t around when the artificial insemination process took place but who has been involved in the child’s life and also donor dads with whom the child has formed a relationship.
In making any decision, the Court will have regard to the best interests of the Child and obviously the child’s relationship with those significant people in their lives will be a driving factor for any determination.
This area of the law can be very complex to navigate. Reid Family Lawyers has a special interest and expertise in same-sex parenting cases and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your particular circumstances with you.
Both married and de facto same-sex couples are treated in the same way by the law when it comes to financial arrangements following the breakdown of a relationship. This includes an entitlement to maintenance.
A detailed review of the law as it relates to financial matters following the breakdown of a relationship can be found in our property settlements section on the “Our Services”tab. Now that same-sex marriage is finally legal, you may find yourself in a situation of wanting to make provision for how your assets will be divided in the event your marriage breaks down. Having an Agreement in place before or during your marriage, can bring greater harmony and security to your relationship.
Speak to us about how we can assist.