Queensland court rules for lesbian parents
A Queensland lesbian couple has made history this week after the Supreme Court ruled a sperm donor's name could be removed from their two children's birth certificates.
The birth mother’s partner can now be named as a parent on the birth certificates.
This is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled that a "father's" name can be removed from a birth certificate.
"For us, this decision recognises in law what our children have always known: that we are their loving parents," the couple, who cannot be identified, said.
Their lawyer Denise Maxwell hailed the Court’s decision as a win for the equality of same-sex parents before the law.
“This is a first for Queensland and a great milestone for this family and for all same-sex parents,” Maxwell said.
“Queensland’s Births, Deaths and Marriages register will forever record the correct parents for the children and the true nature of their parents’ relationship.
“Interestingly, I am unaware of any cases of a known donor to a heterosexual couple calling themselves the father or parent of any children born to that couple.”
The birth mother said the sperm donor was happy to donate, but wasn't really interested in being a parent.
“He only wanted to be known casually by any children by his first name and not in a parental role,” she said.
At the time the children were born the couple’s relationship was not recognised under federal law and Queensland law did not allow the birth mother’s partner to go on the birth certificate as a “parent”.
The birth mother listed the donor on the birth certificates as “father” in order to secure her benifits.
“Centrelink told me that my benefits would be affected if I did not record a father’s name on the birth certificates, and I needed those benefits while the babies were tiny,” she explained.
In 2010 Qld laws were changed retrospectively to allow a lesbian couple to be recorded on a birth certificate as “mother” and “parent”.
However the couple, who have been together for 20 years, had to get a Supreme Court order to remove the “father”.