If you and your partner have been together for an extended period of time and you’d like to settle down, you probably have a lot of questions running through your mind. Perhaps you’ve realised that both of you would like to raise children, which may raise some questions. What are the Australian laws on same-sex couples having kids?
Firstly, all Australian territories and states except for the Northern Territory allow same-sex couples to adopt. Fostering children, on the other hand, is legal all throughout Australia for LGBT couples. It’s also worth noting that some children may have been conceived in a previous heterosexual relationship or raised from birth by a single parent. Other LGBT couples choose to have a child through artificial insemination or a surrogate. One thing is clear, and that is that same-sex parented families are on the rise in Australia, and aren’t as uncommon as they once used to be.
Seeing as joined same-sex parent adoption is legal everywhere except for the Northern Territory, step-parent adoption in this situation is legal too. This means if a child is conceived from a previous heterosexual relationship or raised by a single parent, an LGBT parent can obtain step-parent rights through step-parent adoption.
IVF treatment is available to all couples in Australia, regardless of marital status or sexuality, although it’s important to note that Medicare typically doesn’t cover this unless there is a medical condition affecting infertility. IVF can be an option to LGBT women looking into having a child.
It’s important to note that a gay male couple searching to have a child through artificial insemination procedure are not recognised by law as parents; unless they legally adopt the child or obtain a parenting order from the court.
In conclusion, adoption and fostering for same-sex couples is legal in Australia (except for adoption in the Northern Territory). There are several options available if you’re looking to have a child. You may want to adopt from within Australia or overseas, or choose to go down the path of artificial insemination or surrogacy. While the laws on some of these topics are still uncertain or complicated in some parts of the country, soon more options and support networks will open up and be widely available for LGBT parents.