De facto lesbian partners in South Australia with a child conceived by medical fertilisation can now have both their names registered on the birth certificate as co-parents.
The new law comes into operation today with His Excellency the Governor in Executive Council due to proclaim the Family Relationships (Parentage) Amendment Act 2011.
The change was a key recommendation, with cross-party support, by the Parliament’s Social Development Committee Inquiry into same sex parenting in 2010 and the Bill was passed in June this year by an overwhelming majority of both Houses of Parliament.
Announcing the change today, Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion Ian Hunter said South Australia was the last Australian State to give such legal recognition to a mother’s same-sex partner.
“This is a law whose time has come,” Minister Hunter said.
“Lesbian parents have for a long time been denied the right to register both mothers on their child’s birth certificate.
“However, heterosexual couples whose child has been conceived with donor sperm have had the equivalent right since 1985, with the mother’s partner being legally recognised as the father.
“This new law will at last give defacto lesbian couples in South Australia the same rights as others to be formally recognised as co-parents and ensure their child has two legal parents.”
Minister Hunter says the new Act also permits amendment of the birth registration details of a child who was born and registered before the commencement today of the Act.
Information on the new law and how the procedures for lesbian parents will work is available by telephoning Births, Deaths and Marriages in Consumer and Business Services on 131 882. Up-to- date information sheets will also be posted on the web next week at www.cbs.sa.gov.au