In Australia, same-sex couples have access to the same laws with regard to the division of assets and divorce as opposite-sex couples. Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, we are able to advise you on your rights in relation to property settlement.
We are also able to advise you on your legal rights and obligations in relation to same-sex parenting. This includes the legalities of IVF, surrogacy and adoption and parental rights and responsibilities in the event of separation.
The law is quite complex in relation to these issues. In relation to IVF and surrogacy, there are questions around which person is the child’s parent (and has the rights and responsibilities of a parent).
In relation to a child born via IVF using a sperm donor, our family law system sets out the specific circumstances under which the child is recognised the child of both the birth mother and her partner.
The law is considerably more complex in relation to surrogacy. If two partners have a child via a surrogate, then the two partners are not automatically recognised as the child’s parents. Issues may arise in circumstances where the surrogate mother from refuses to relinquish the child once born; or if a commissioning parent from refuses to accept the child. Each State and Territory has its own laws in relation to surrogacy and it’s important to obtain legal advice prior to embarking on this process.
Two partners may apply to adopt a child. There are very strict requirements for adoption to which potential parents would have to adhere. When adoption occurs, the non-biological parents are given parental responsibility over the child and the child will have all the rights as if they were born to the parents. As with surrogacy, each State and Territory has different laws in relation to adoption.
If you and your partner have separated and also have children, we are able to advise you on your rights and obligations with respect to caring for and supporting your children.