Creating your gayby baby

BECOMING a PARENT is a huge and life-changing event no matter what your sexual orientation.

 

Lesbians have many more issues to consider as they ponder taking this big step. Before getting started on your path to motherhood, you may want to ask yourself (and your partner if you have one) the following important questions:

 

  • Am I flying solo or am I doing this with my partner?

  • Who will carry our child?

  • Whose embryos/sperm will we use?

  • Will we change our names?

  • What will the child call me and my partner?

  • Whose surname will the child have?

  • Will all of our children have the same surname?

  • Will/can my partner and I both carry a child?

  • Do we have to go to a fertility clinic?

  • Can we get pregnant at home?

  • Do we have to go overseas to get pregnant?

  • Where will we get egg/sperm from?

  • Will we use the same egg/sperm donor for each child?

  • Will we use a known donor or anonymous donor?

  • Will we tell them about the donor?

  • What will they call the donor?

  • How much involvement will the donor have?

  • What role will the donor’s partner/family play?

  • Will/can we document an agreement with the donor?

  • Can we both be on the birth certificate as mothers/fathers?

  • Will the donor be listed on the birth certificate as the mother/father?

  • Will we both be recognised as the legal parents?

  • Will the donor have any legal rights?

 

Depending upon your answers, your path to parenthood could look very different from another person’s. Some choices will be predetermined by your situation and others might change during the process. No matter how you do it, it’s important to know the relevant laws involved.

 

What options are available

Australian same-sex individuals and couples who want to become parents nowadays have a wide range of options available to them. These include:

 

  • Home insemination;

  • IVF and other assisted reproductive procedures;

  • Surrogacy;

  • Fostering; and

  • Adoption.

 

The laws surrounding these options have rapidly changed in the past few years and you should ensure you understand all the legalities around your chosen family planning path.

For this reason, it’s best before entering into any agreement that you seek advice from a family lawyer with experience in advising and representing same-sex parents.

 

SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS

 

  1. Before you start the journey to parenthood you should discuss the options available with your partner, a close friend, or someone who has already had a child with a known or unknown donor.

   2. Talk to a fertility clinic and obtain advice on the medical process and costs.

   3. Speak to a family lawyer about the legal aspects specific to your situation.

Note to readers: This information is intended as a guide to the law and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained here is as up to date and accurate as possible, the law is complex and constantly changing (particularly relating to same-sex parenting) and readers are advised to seek legal advice in relation to their situation.

If you need legal advice, please contact Nicole Evans from Nicole Evans Lawyers at nevans@nelawyers.com.au.

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© 2019 by Lesbians & The Law