The Tasmanian Government has introduced legislation which will give equal legal recognition to lesbian couples having children through IVF.
The Relationships (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill proposes reform to the state’s Adoption Act and Status of Children Act, setting out provisions so non-biological lesbian parents are legally considered the parents of a child.
The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and the Tasmanian Women’s Legal Service applauded the Government’s move. A previous attempt to introduce legislation failed in 2003 when the reform was scuttled in the Upper House.
TGLRG spokesman Rodney Croome said the legislation should pass this time around.
With a more progressive Tasmanian Parliament in recent years, Croome said the Government may be flexing its socially progressive muscles before an election period.
-œThis legislation will give children born to same-sex partners through reproductive technology like IVF the financial and emotional security of having two legal parents rather than one, he said.
Women’s Legal Service managing solicitor Susan Fahey said the current lack of recognition for non-biological mothers is problematic in areas such as emergency medical decision-making.
-œWe are in contact with same-sex partners for whom lack of legal security has meant severe disadvantage and trauma in daily life, she said.
Same-sex couples have had access to assisted reproductive technology in Tasmania for many years.