Sunday, March 23, 2008

Brisbane Times - "NSW slow to adopt parent provision"

NSW is lagging behind other states because, without a parenting order, a donor or co-parent has no legal rights, a same-sex parenting expert says. Professor Jenni Millbank, from the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, says there is a growing awareness in the community that "not everybody raising a child is their biological parent".

But unlike in Western Australia, the ACT and Northern Territory, where the partner of the biological parent is automatically awarded co-parent status, much like the male partner of a woman who conceives through IVF, there is no such provision in NSW.

Professor Millbank says while proof of ongoing involvement in the life of the child can be used in court in the event of a dispute, "there is no excuse for NSW to be so slow at recognising parenting rights for same-sex couples".

A spokesman for Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says his Victorian counterpart, Rob Hulls, has indicated his intention to raise the issue of same-sex parental rights at this week's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting. But he says the Iemma Government has no plans to update NSW legislation.

Research conducted in Australia and the US shows up to 10percent of gay men and 20percent of lesbians are parents. Up to half of these parents had children in a previous heterosexual relationship, but this proportion appears to be declining.

The 2006 Private Lives report which surveyed 5476 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people across Australia found 25.6percent had children while a 2005 Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby report indicated that 18.6percent had children.

[Link: Original Article]

No comments: