Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sydney Morning Herald - "Lesbian IVF kids to get equal rights"

Children born through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to lesbian mothers will have the same rights as those of heterosexual couples, under law changes announced by the NSW government.

Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said he had accepted NSW Law Reform recommendations extending "parental presumption" provisions to cover gay mums.

It was estimated 20 per cent of the state's female same-sex couples had children, Mr Hatzistergos said.

The change affects those born through IVF or artificial fertilisation only, by granting parenting rights and obligations to the non-biological mother.

"The current law discriminates against these children who, at the moment, have a relationship with the birth mother's partner that is not recognised by law," Mr Hatzistergos told reporters on Tuesday.

"They are unable to take on inheritance, or the benefits of compensation which may be due ... following a death or injury."

The changes to the Status of Children Act 1996 will also allow these children to have both of their parents recognised by school authorities.

Both women in the same-sex couple must be in a relationship at the time of conception for the provision to apply.

On top of the new parenting laws, Mr Hatzistergos said the government would also amend about 50 state acts to remove discrimination against same-sex couples in NSW.

In some instances, he said, this would impose new requirements on same-sex couples to disclose a potential conflict of interest.

"The government will also be amending the anti-discrimination act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person's domestic status," Mr Hatzistergos said.

"In other words, the fact they have to reveal the existence of that relationship ... shouldn't be a ground on which they can be discriminated against."

Mr Hatzistergos said the changes would not go as far as moves in Tasmania, and soon-to-be implemented changes in Victoria, where same-sex couples could add their name to a register.

"We want to see how this pans out nationally," he said.

"Our preference is that these issues be resolved at a national level so there is consistency and uniformity across the jurisdictions."

The law changes will be introduced to the NSW parliament later this year.

[Link: Original Article]

[Link: Alternative Article]

No comments: