How Do I Get Registered As a Co-Parent?

South Australian Laws allowing for the birth of new-born babies to be registered with both mother and co-parent, writes TGB Family lawyer Virginia Bui.

In June 2011, laws were passed in South Australia allowing for the birth of new-born babies to be registered with both mother and co-parent, writes TGB’s Virginia Bui.

The new laws apply to babies born after 15 December 2011.  Babies born prior to this date have shown only the birth mother as the child’s parent.

To be recognised as a co-parent, a woman must satisfy certain criteria:

1. At the time the child was conceived, the two women were living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis and had been doing so for at least three years (or for a total of three out of the four years prior to conception); and

2. The child was conceived through an assisted fertilisation procedure (this includes medical procedures such as IVF and artificial insemination); and

3. The partner consented to the fertilisation procedure.

It does not matter whether the two women are still living together as domestic partners when the child is born or when they apply to register the birth.

In order for the birth mother and co-parent to register the baby and have their names recorded on the birth certificate, the parents will need to complete a birth registration statement adapted for same sex parents, with both parents required to sign. They will also need to complete statutory declarations regarding their qualifying relationship. Each parent must make the declaration before an authorised witness (such as a Justice of the Peace). In some instances, parents will be required to obtain a letter from the clinic or doctor who carried out the fertilisation procedure to confirm that the procedure took place.

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (SA) requires that all births are registered within sixty (60) days of the birth.

For registrations of births prior to 15 December 2011, the new laws allow for existing records to be amended to include the co-parent.

Creating a new family with same sex parents can lead to many legal implications, and it is always wise to obtain legal advice early from a lawyer with specialised knowledge in this field.

TGB is South Australia’s largest family law firm. For advice about family and divorce issues, contact your nearest TGB office