17/07/2007

My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Attorney-General in the other place. I was recently approached by a family who fear the effects of discrimination on their young child. They are a typical family in that the parents have been together for seven years; they planned for two years to have a child and they now have a 19-month-old girl who loves her Nono's cooking, loves her parents reading stories to her at night, loves her bath and is the centre of attention at family gatherings. This child, like most young children, is confident that her world is safe and secure. However, they are not a typical family in that her parents are in a same-sex relationship and fear the impact of discrimination on the child as she grows.

The law does not recognise the non-biological parent of such a relationship as a legal parent, which would be of real concern should anything befall the biological parent. The non-biological parent is not on the child's birth certificate and has to carry a copy of a parenting order around with her. The biological mother is classified on forms as a single mother. Megan and Lisa have read the recommendations of the assisted reproductive technology and adoption final report of the Victorian Law Reform Commission and believe its implementation would, in their words 'make a huge difference to our family (including grandparents)'.

Specifically in relation to the concerns raised by this family, the report recommends that when children are born to lesbian couples, non-birth mothers should have the same powers and responsibilities in respect of the child as all other parents; that legal recognition of non-birth mothers should be achieved in the same way as it is for non-biological parents of donor-conceived children born to heterosexual couples -- that is, by way of automatic statutory presumption; and that non-birth mothers should be registered as parents on their children's birth certificates.

The implementation of this report's recommendation through legislation is vital for families and children in Victoria. I believe there is some urgency that this should happen for the many thousands of families it would affect. I therefore request that the Attorney-General bring forward a bill to implement the findings of the Victorian Law Reform Commission final report into assisted reproductive technology and adoption.

 

For more information see what The Greens Victoria policy is on GLBTI including civil unions same sex couples.