Adoption The permanent legal transfer of all parental rights from one parent/s to the new parent/s.
Artificial Insemination When sperm is inseminated into the uterus.
Assisted Reproductive Technology When a person uses medical treatment to assist with fertility.
Apprehended Domestic Violence Order An order made by the local court for a person’s protection that restricts another person’s behaviour that you may be in a relationship with, live with, or are related to; this is a person with whom you have a “domestic relationship”.
Apprehended Personal Violence Order An order where the people involved are not related nor do they have a domestic or
intimate relationship, such as neighbours, where a person is being stalked, intimidated, harassed, or threatened by someone.
Binding Financial Agreement An agreement made before, during, or after a relationship ends which specifies how your
assets, financial resources, and liabilities will be split if your relationship breaks down.
Binding Death Benefit Nomination A form that directs the Trustee of a superannuation fund to pay your superannuation (including insurance amounts) to the person/s you nominate in that form.
Birth Certificate An official copy of the birth registration of a child. It is often used to help establish a
person's identity, such as name, sex, age, parents, and place of birth.
Birth mother A woman who gives birth to a child (even if she is not the genetic parent of the child (i.e. if
donor eggs are used).
Biological father The man who has provided the sperm to fertilise the woman’s egg.
Biological mother A woman who conceives a child and gives birth to that child, a birth mother.
Blastocysts A “ball” consisting of a few dozen cells that forms about five days after fertilisation, when
a fluid-filled cavity opens up in the morula. The use of blastocysts in in-vitro fertilisation
(IVF) involves culturing a fertilised egg for five days before implanting it into the uterus.
Child Support An ongoing, periodic or non-periodic payment made by a parent to another parent for the
financial benefit of a child following the end of a relationship.
Child Support Agency A government agency that operates through the Department of Human Services that
deals with child support payments and issues.
Cisgender A person who identifies as the gender that matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.
Civil union A legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage often used by same-sex couples to
have their relationship publicly and legally recognised.
Consent Orders Orders that are agreed upon between the parties and filed with the Family Court that
specify how property is to be divided or the parenting arrangements for a child of the relationship.
Co-mother The female partner of the birth mother.
Co-parenting Where separated or divorced parents take care of their children and seek to maintain equal or equivalent responsibility for the children's upbringing.
De facto partner A person with whom you are in a relationship with, live together as a couple, are not married, not siblings or a parent of child of each other, have financial interdependence, a sexual relationship and a public aspect to the relationship.
District Court A state court which deals with all criminal offences except murder, treason and piracy and can hear civil claims up to $750,000 and applications under the De Facto Relationships Act 1984 (NSW), the Family Provisions Act 1982 (NSW) and the Testator Family Maintenance and Guardianship of Infants Act 1916 (NSW) that involve amounts, or property to the value of, no more than A$250,000.
Domestic Partnership Agreement A written agreement documenting your living arrangements so your relationship is recognised by the state as domestic partners.
Donor Agreement An agreement (not legally binding) between one or two mothers and a known sperm donor that outlines all aspects of the relationship including how future contact with the child will be handled.
Donor Dad A man who has provided the sperm for the conception of a child through assisted reproduction (i.e. through home insemination or through a fertility clinic) and is involved in the child’s life.
Donor (Known) A man who provides sperm who is known to the birth mother and/or non-birth mother.
Donor (Unknown) Sperm obtained anonymously from an unknown man through a fertility clinic.
Enduring Guardian A person you appoint to make health, lifestyle and medical decisions for you when you are no longer capable of doing this for yourself.
Embryo An egg fertilised by sperm between the first and the eighth week of development after fertilisation.
Family Court A federal court which hears more complex disputes relating to the breakdown of marriages, de-facto relationships and children under the Family Law Act 1975.
Family Report Report written by a family consultant, or outside appointed expert, which provides an independent assessment of the issues in a family court matter.
Federal Circuit Court A federal court that hears disputes relating to the breakdown of marriages, de-facto relationships and children under the Family Law Act 1975.
Fertility Clinic A medical clinic that assists couples and individuals who want to become parents but for medical or social reasons have been or are unable to achieve this goal via heterosexual intercourse.
Foster Parent A person who acts as parent and guardian for a child in place of the child's natural parents and makes day-to-day decision about the care of the child but without legally adopting the child.
Genetic parent The man and woman who provided the genetic material to conceive a child.
Home Insemination The method of inseminating sperm into the uterus (at home) using a specimen cup and syringe, usually performed by the de factor partner of the woman trying to conceive the child.
Incapacity When you have a physical or mental inability to do something or are unable to manage your own affairs.
Intersex A person born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are not complelty female nor completely male, or are a combination of both male and female, or neither female nor male.
Intestacy When you die without leaving a valid will.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) When an egg is fertilised by sperm outside of the body.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) A procedure done in a fertility clinic that places sperm directly into a woman's uterus to assist in conception.
Lives with The term used in the Family Court, and Family Court Orders that refers to the parent or person with whom the child lives.
Local Court The lowest state court that hears minor civil and criminal cases before a magistrate (no jury) and can hear civil matters with a value up to $100,000, and the maximum sentence is two years’ jail per sentence.
LGBTQIA Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual.
Marriage The union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Mediation When a third party tries to help others who are having a disagreement to resolve a dispute, often prior to commencing legal proceedings.
Non-birth mother The partner of the birth mother, the other mother of a child.
Non-genetic parent A parent who has not provided genetic material to conceive the child.
Parental responsibility The responsibility and power to make decisions about the care and welfare of a child, including important decision making power with respect to education, religion, and medical treatment.
Parenting Agreement An agreement that sets out parenting arrangements for children that are agreed to by the parents (that is not legally binding).
Parenting Plan A plan that sets out parenting arrangements for children that are agreed to by the parents (that is not legally binding).
Parental Responsibility A term used by the Family Court that refers to the legal authority and duty parents and carers have in relation to children. Most often, both parents have equal/joint parental responsibility and allows parents to make joint decisions in respect of a child's health, religion, education and living arrangements. Sometimes a parent can have sole parental responsibility, meaning they can make major decisions without consulting the other parent.
Parenting Orders Orders that are approved by the Family Court, either by consent between the parents or by a judge after a hearing, which details parenting arrangements for children, including who has parental responsibility, with whom the child lives, and communication and time with the other parent.
Power of Attorney A document that a person signs which gives the authority to act for that person to another person in specified or all legal or financial matters.
Protected Person The person protected by an AVO or APVO.
Sperm Donor A man who has provided the sperm for the conception of a child through assisted reproduction (i.e. through home insemination or through a fertility clinic).
Step-parent A person who is the partner of the existing legal parent who takes on a parenting role.
Superannuation Regular payments made into a fund by an employee towards a future pension for your retirement.
Supreme Court The highest state court which has unlimited jurisdiction to hear large civil and the most serious criminal matters and matters on appeal from the District Court.
Surrogacy The carrying of a pregnancy for other intended parents.
Transgender A peson who does not identify as the gender that matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.
Will A legal document by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage their estate and provides for the distribution of their property upon their death.
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.