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Archive for May, 2010

Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog – “Qld Surrogacy Laws Start Tuesday” by Stephen Page

Stephen Page, my favourite blogger on all things legal and GLBTI has published some notes on the new Surrogacy laws that come into force this week in Queensland.  Visit his blog at Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog.

Queensland’s Surrogacy Act 2010 starts Tuesday. The latest of the states to legalise altruistic surrogacy, the Queensland scheme has a number of unique features:

  • the starting point is that altruistic surrogacy from Tuesday will be legalised. Until Tuesday, to have engaged in altruistic surrogacy in Queensland has been an offence. Whilst there has been some doubt about the Tasmanian laws, Queensland seemed alone in criminalising all forms of surrogacy.
  • the odd position of State boundaries remains. Only Queenslanders will be able to access the Queensland scheme. This is because the ability to obtain orders for intended parents can only be accessed by Queenslanders. This in turn will probably limit the use by IVF clinics of to whom they offer their services. Conversely, there is no limit in NSW, but there is no ability in NSW to have intended parent orders, as adoption is the only option (and adoption is not available to all).
  • Queensland continues to ban commercial surrogacy. It is an offence to engage in commercial surrogacy in Queensland. This criminalisation not only affects the doctors and nurses, but the intended surrogate and the intended parents, too.
  • Queensland couples who have gone to an overseas commercial surrogacy clinic and returned with a baby will (with some  exceptions) still need to obtain a Re Mark order from the Family Court recognising that both parents can make parental decisions. These are not hard to get, if done properly. There are some tricks of the trade to ensure that they are obtained in as straightforward and cheap manner as possible. Adoption for these couples is unlikely to be possible under Queensland’s scheme.

Read more…

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Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog – “Top 10 guide for lesbian partners being named on children’s birth certificates in Queensland” by Stephen Page

My PhotoStephen Page of the wonderful Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog has published some guidelines for prospective lesbian parents in Queensland.  He is one of my favourite bloggers and worth subscribing to his feeds.

1. Get legal advice before the child is conceived!
Once the child is conceived, too late! Same sex parenting can be a legal minefield about legal rights and responsibilities. Don’t create a mess and then wonder what went wrong.

2. At the time of conception, you must live in a de facto relationship.
If you don’t live together in a de facto relationship, the laws don’t apply to you. The mother will be    presumed to be single. Overseas same sex marriages are not recognised in Australia. Being in a de facto relationship at any time during the pregnancy, or at the time of birth; but not conception, is too late.

3. The form of conception must be artificial.
If your partner had sex with the man, resulting in conception, the laws do not apply to you. The man is the father, both by genetics and law. IVF is not required. A turkey baster or syringe is sufficient.

4. Your partner should not be married.
There seem to be conflicting, or potentially conflicting rules if the mother of the child is married. It is quite possible that the mother might be married and in a de facto relationship with another woman eg the mother separated from her husband some years before, but never bothered to get divorced.

5. The father must not be shown on the birth certificate.
If he is, then you cannot have him removed from the birth certificate without a court order. Good luck!

6. The birth must have been in Queensland.

7. The birth can have been at anytime.
The change is retrospective: it can be anytime before, on or after 1 June, 2010.

8. You’re shown as "parent" and your partner is shown as "mother" on the birth certificate.

9. Two’s company, three’s a crowd.
There is only allowance for up to two people to be recognised on the birth certificate: the mother; the mother and father, or mother and partner.

10. Both you and your partner fill out the form.
Lesbian co-parents will be recognised for the first time in Queensland law on their children’s birth certificates, starting this Tuesday 1 June.

The changes are contained in the Surrogacy Act 2010 which was passed earlier this year, but does not take effect until Tuesday. That Act made changes to both the Status of Children Act 1978 (which governs presumptions about parentage of children) and the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003, which (obviously) deals with the registration of births, deaths and marriages.

[Source: Original Article]

Categories: Uncategorized

Wrap Up – The 5th Surrogacy for Gay Men forum – Prahran, Victoria, Australia

Well the 5th Surrogacy for Gay Men forum is over and we think it was a great success.  Overall there were 85 people in attendance, not including the children, so it was a great turn out.  We hope that those who came got something useful out the forum and hopefully made some new friendships as well.   The forum can’t possibly cover everything but we hope that it will help you in some way on your journey to becoming dads.  It was also great to see so many dads and dads to be join us at the Prahran Market afterwards. 

There is a lot of work that goes into putting these forums on and I would like to take the opportunity to personally thank each of the people who helped in making the forum a success.

Doug and Brett, Jason and Brendan, Mark and Allan, Lee and Tony, Noam and David, Eilis – A huge thank you for your time, effort and contribution today.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.  You guys are really wonderful. 

A special thank you to my hubby Jeff for all the baking and catering and keeping our son occupied.  You do so much behind the scenes.

Also a big shout out to Southern Star, ALSO, JOY 94.9 and Rainbow Families Council for all the assistance and support.

It is really exciting to see the next generation of gay dads.  It makes all the work that goes into events like this worth it.

Rainbow Families and Who is in your family? Resource Kit

Who is in your family poster

Rainbow Families Council proudly presents the “Who is in your family?” resource kit. Rainbow Families Council developed these resources through surveys conducted with families and childcare workers in the City of Darebin and neighboring suburbs during 2009. Development funding was provided by the City of Darebin.

Officially launched at our February 2010 conference by the City of Darebin Mayor Cr Vince Fontana, we have re-launched the entire kit online to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17.

The posters and information sheets are now available for you to download below. You can order FREE full colour A3 copies of the two posters from Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV) by emailing info@glhv.org.au

This resource kit aims to help children, families and early childhood educators start discussions about the diversity of families – including same-sex parented families – who are part of their communities.

It comprises of two A3 posters and four A4 information sheets, including one specifically for parents to help them choose a rainbow family-friendly childcare centre or kindergarten.

  • Poster 1 ‘Who is in your family? Our families come in all different shapes and sizes’ (with animal families)
  • Poster 2 ‘Who is in your family? Our families come in all different shapes and sizes’ (with diverse human families)
  • Info sheet 1 ‘Introducing rainbow families – a guide for early childhood services’
  • Info sheet 2 ‘Creating inclusive children’s spaces’
  • Info sheet 3 ‘How children play: challenging myths and stereotypes’
  • Info sheet 4 ‘Tips for choosing a rainbow-family friendly childcare centre or kindergarten’
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Hindustan Times – “Gay Couples may not be allowed to hire surrogates in country” by Neha Bhayana

But if the draft bill to regulate surrogacy becomes law, gay couples like them may not be allowed to hire surrogates in India. The draft legislation, Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bills and Rules, 2008, states that only couples that are living together and in a sexual relationship that is “legal” are permitted surrogacy to have children.

In July 2009, the Delhi High Court had decriminalised homosexuality by overturning a section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. But homosexual relationships are still not legally recognised in India, leaving the status of same-sex relationships ambiguous.

Several petitions filed to challenge the Delhi High Court verdict are pending before the Supreme Court. “Gay or lesbian couples will be allowed to have children through surrogacy only if the Indian law recognises homosexual relationships at the time when the bill is passed,” said Dr R.S. Sharma, deputy director general of the Indian Council for Medical Research. Considering India has emerged as preferred destination for surrogacy, the proposed law could dishearten gay couples who plan to come to India for children. Infertility clinics in Mumbai have helped many gay couples, mostly from US and Australia, have children through surrogates.

It is not clear whether homosexuals will be able to go for surrogacy as individuals. The proposed legislation allows single women to have children through surrogacy but they are silent about single men. “It will be important for the new law to address the issue about single parents and defining the role of doctors and compensation given to surrogates,” said Amit Karkhanis, a lawyer who has handled over 180 surrogacy cases.

An expert committee is revising the draft bill based on the comments by the central health ministry. “We will complete the process within a week and send the draft back to the ministry,” said Dr Sharma.

[Source: Original Article]

Categories: Uncategorized

Southern Star – “Gay Dads Forum Offers Help” by Andie Noonan

Sam Everingham (L) and Phil Copeland

Gay Dads Victoria will hold one of its biggest information forums yet in Melbourne next week for gay men interested in starting a family.

Gay Dads Victoria convenor Rodney Chaing-Cruise told Southern Star numbers have been building steadily over the last few years.

“We’ve already got 60 people registered so far,” he said. “It’s our fifth forum in four years and there’s been a fairly steady jump each year, but this is certainly the biggest forum we’ve held.”

The event is on Saturday, May 22 from 10am-1pm in Prahran and will cover local, US and Indian surrogacy options.

Gay Dads Victoria is one of the only organised groups in the nation providing up-to-date information on gay surrogacy. Chaing-Cruise said India is the burning question on everyone’s lips.

“India has become more affordable, so people who previously didn’t have the option of surrogacy financially … can afford the Indian option,” he said.

“About two years ago about 10 percent were using India and about 90 percent were going through the US. Now it’s 50 percent US, 50 percent India.”

Currently there are concerns that the Indian surrogacy market may close its doors to singles and gay couples, as the Indian government moves to regulate its IVF industry.

Chaing-Cruise said he doesn’t expect the surrogacy laws to pass this year.

However, he said it’s possible agencies could adopt provisions — like only allowing access to married or heterosexual couples — before any laws are passed.

Phil Copeland, 38 and his partner Sam Everingham, 42, who are expecting twins from a surrogate in India, told Southern Star their Indian surrogacy agency had no issues with their sexuality.

The pair have taken five years to start their family, after first looking at adoption and fostering.
“Adoption wasn’t going to happen in Australia … and then we looked at fostering and we went through the whole fostering course … but I had real issues with the co-parenting side of that,” Copeland said.

“Sharing the child with the parents, I just couldn’t deal with someone else telling us how to raise the child.”

Copeland and Everingham said Gay Dads Victoria was instrumental in providing the information they needed to go through the surrogacy process.

“We visited some other couples and found out how they did it … and just talked to them to see what they were doing,” Copeland said.

info: Email Rodney Chaing-Cruise at
info@gaydadsaustralia.com to
register your interest.

[Source: Original Article]

Categories: Uncategorized

The Cairns Post – “Lesbian couple shares baby joy” by Ben Blomfield

THIS baby boy is the precious Mother’s Day gift same sex couple Michelle Petryszyn and Casey Fallon have always wanted.

Mitchell Petryszyn was born at Cairns Base Hospital about 5.30am yesterday and while bringing joy to his parents, the couple’s second child also represents a growing trend in the Far North.

Doctors say female couples seeking help with falling pregnant is increasing with about 30 female couples a year consulting fertility groups in Cairns.

"For me, they’ve given my life more meaning, something deeper," said Ms Fallon, who gave birth to the couple’s first child, Evelyn Fallon, 14 months ago.

"If we had more children, I think we would both have one each."

Ms Petryszyn, 26, said sexual preference should never dictate who can have children.

Read more…

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Sydney Morning Herald – “Complex Surrogacy Laws to be Untangled” by Joel Gibson

AFTER years of legal confusion, couples who use a surrogate mother in NSW will be able to get legal recognition of their status as parents in state courts.

NSW will finally go ahead with planned surrogacy laws after a meeting of state and territory attorneys-general approved national principles yesterday.

The proposed laws are expected to clarify the difference between commercial surrogacy (which will remain illegal) and reasonable payments that can be made to an altruistic surrogate mother for her expenses in having a child.

They will also allow state courts to grant a parentage order that recognise couples as the parents of children born by surrogates, provided the court believes it is in the child’s best interests, the child is living with the parents and surrogacy was agreed before conception. It will also be necessary for all parties to have received legal advice and counselling and to have given informed consent to the arrangement.

In the past, parents of surrogate children have had to go to the family court seeking parenting orders that recognise their status. But they have battled federal laws that assume the surrogate mother is the child’s true mother and her partner is the father, even when he has no relationship with the child.

They have also been hampered by the state adoption laws.

David Norman – who with his wife, Denise, is the father of Emily, born to a surrogate mother – told an upper house inquiry in NSW that they would have to wait until she is five to adopt her and give her their name.

The states have been moved to act by the story of the Federal minister Stephen Conroy and his wife, Paula Benson, who had to leave Victoria, where surrogacy was essentially illegal, to enter into an agreement with a friend in NSW, later returning to Victoria with their daughter, Isabella, in 2006 and adopting her at a cost of $50,000.

Victoria has since changed its laws.

It was not clear last night whether other states and territories would amend their laws, but the NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, said they would be taken into account in NSW.

[Source: Original Article]

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