South Australia’s Legislative Council has voted 14-5 to pass a bill allowing both a birth mother and non-birth mother to appear on the birth certificate of their child, providing both legal recognition and responsibilities for both parents.
The Family Relationships (Parentage) Amendment Bill 2010 was introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks on behalf of the state’s openly gay Labor MLC Ian Hunter (pictured).
South Australian gay and lesbian rights lobby Lets Get Equal welcomed the vote and thanked Hunter and Franks for their work on the bill.
“They have been wonderfully supportive in this process and they’ve shown great leadership with it,” Lets Get Equal spokeswoman Terri Mitchell-Smith said.
“We are absolutely thrilled that this has passed the Upper House and look forward to it passing the lower house – hopefully very soon.”
Hunter said the overwhelming vote in the Legislative Council should be a sign to the state government that change was overdue.
“I congratulate Lets Get Equal, a fantastic gay community lobby group, for their campaign to get this legislation passed and I congratulate Greens MLC Hon Tammy Franks for introducing this Bill,” Hunter said.
Franks said MLCs had voted in favour of common sense and decency.
“The amendment will finally put an end to years of discrimination for same sex parents,” Franks said.
“Despite South Australia being the first state to legalise homosexuality, we are the last Australian state or territory to recognise same sex parenting.
“It is a shameful indictment on our state that same-sex attracted parents are treated this way. The archaic laws mean only one parent is recognised under law, creating difficulties for the other parent.
“The non-recognised parent can’t easily consent to medical treatment, sign school forms or travel alone with their child. Being a parent is hard enough without additional red tape.”
Franks said in the absence of this reform some South Australian families had resorted to travelling interstate to give birth so both parents could be recognised.
“Happily, if the Bill passes through the House of Assembly, this will no longer be the case,” she said.
Franks and Hunter have also collaborated on a bill to legalise same-sex marriage under state law in South Australia which will be debated this week.