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Thread: Parenting Orders - any info?

  1. #1

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    Question Parenting Orders - any info?

    Hi all... this is something Shel and I don't know all that much about... parenting orders...

    The archaic laws in Australia means the non-bio parent can't be on the birth certificate or considered a parent (except in W.A. and I think maybe ACT as well) so how have you gone about getting a parenting order? Have you got one? Do you think it's important? Does it make a difference if you have one or not? (I assume it is important and it does make a difference but I actually don't know!)

    We know the standard stuff... like what a parenting order is and what it does, but I've heard rumours about the process of actually getting one... and we're interested in hearing about others who have gone about getting one. When should you start preparing? What is the actual prcess and how long does it usually take? And is the process shortened if the bio-parent agrees? Or does it not matter? I think Parenting Orders are federal law, so I'm just assuming the process its standard for all states?

    If you're not a same-sex couple, but know something about the process please reply as well!


  2. #2

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    Hi

    My understanding that in NSW at least you can have the non-bio mothers name on the birth certificate - there is a space at the bottom of the certificate that indicates the name of the person who registered the birth, so if the non-bio mother does this, than her name should go in this bit. I know it is not the best situation, but at least it is something. Though I am not 100% sure if there is restrcitions around who can and can't register the birth with BDM (Births, Deaths & Marriages)

    Parenting orders are issued through the Federal Family Court. I have heard that it is an expensive process.

    Another option, though not always enforceable is to have your wishes/ plans about your children clearly set out in both wills and to have both power of attorney and enduring guardanship orders set up for both you and your partner. You can also have a deed drawn up between you that sets out your roles and responsibilities. While these things are not as strong as parenting orders, as they could be challenged by other family members if something ever happens to you, they are at least something.

    My partner and I have done the above and once our child is born, we might then consider the parenting order stuff. We sought advice from a great solictor who has expereience in the law around same sex couples.

    We are going through IVF, and my partner has co-signed as many forms as possible, and her name is also on my file, just as a way of having another bit of evidence that we are in this together. She also comes to all of our appointments, so again our clinic could testify that we were in this together. We also have a great GP, who has put details in our medical files about our relationship and there is a note in my partners file about us going thru IVF.

    We figure that if anything ever happened all of this extra 'proof' of both of our relationship and our intent to have children is good to have.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3

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    Hi all

    We sought legal advice and have the forms already, but they cant be lodged until the child is born. As far a parenting order goes we think it is really important. Things like schools, drs, hospitals etc will not even talk to the non bio mother without a parenting order. So its definately something to think about.

    Also, Belin.....any chance of getting the name of your solicitor and where they are based? We are having a real hard time getting someone that is decent.

    Claire and Donna

  4. #4

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    Default

    Hi guys.

    I am a barrister, who practice has particular emphasis on family law. I have completed numerous agreements from co-parenting, sperm/egg donor, anonymous donor, separated co-parents, etc.

    Parenting orders are Federal Law - orders made under the Family Law Act 1975. You can have them made by consent. Birth registrations are state-(territory) based, and as such have different requirements.

    Unfortunately I can't give out legal advice over the internet, but I can direct you to particular places that might be able to help you.

    If you have any queries, please contact me.

  5. #5

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    My previous partner (with whom I had two children) and I always spoke of parenting agreements, guardianship etc but did not ever actually do it. In terms of dealing with childcare, school, doctors etc we never had any issues with us both being recognized as parents, signing consent forms etc. I still think parenting agreements are a very good idea but also wnated to say that our expereince was very positive in terms of the no-bio mother (me) being recogized without any legal documentation.

  6. #6

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    Hi Claire

    The solictor we saw was in Newcastle, and unfortunately he is no longer practising - we had all of our documents sorted out about 2 years ago when we first seriously thought about having children.
    You could try contacting the gay & lesbian rights lobby in Syd they might be able to give you a lead. Not sure what there number is or website is but there should be a link from the acon website http://www.acon.org.au.
    Ins Syndey there also used to be a group called 'Rainbow Babies' not sure if it is still around - been a few years since I lived in Syd, but again the rights lobby could probably tell you.
    Good Luck

  7. #7

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    hello everyone, we have been doing some more research on the parenting rights of the non bio partner and came up with some info, as we are in nsw we were specifically searching for that but this link will give you a fair idea of what your up for http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlin.../samesex_index
    so, we hope this gives you a good run down on in. As for us, we are travelling along wonderfully, still both working hard so we can get things to a point where we can initiate our future family together.
    We hope your all well
    Cheers D&M

  8. #8

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    Hey everyone,

    We have copies of some parenting orders, so if you want a copy let me know and I will email you them

    Claire

  9. #9
    Clark Guest

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    hey everyone,

    we have a 7 yo and don't have any parenting orders. She still has contact with her Dad, who is on the birth certificate (I was going through a total denial stage!). I'm was under the impression that you can't get parenting orders for a third parent - does anyone know anything about that?

    Practically, we have had no issues at all. School and Child Care and Hospitals and everywhere we go recognises my partner as our child's parent without any documentation. She is listed on all forms as the second parent (her dad is there too as an emergency contact, or even third parent in some cases).

    We have wills and powers of attorney to protect us in case anything happens, but we also make sure that we're very up front and discuss with our extended families and friends what we would like to happen should something happen to us.

    Good luck with the parenting orders - I'd be interested to hear any stories too, because we'll probably go down that path if we ever manage to conceive! (at end of TWW but not optimistic).

    Clark

  10. #10

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    Default Need legal advice re IVF and sperm donor

    Dear Forum Members

    I am in the process of initiating IVF with a known sperm donor. I am based in Melbourne and I am struggling to find an experienced solicitor who can advise me on writing up a parenting agreement and explain the legal implications of both parties.

    I have tried legal referral services and they kept giving me the wrong names of law firms which had nothing to do with family law. So I am hoping to get more information through this medium. You can reach me on [email protected] if you would like to contact me directly. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks Natas

  11. #11

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    Hey Natas,

    Have you tried the advertising section of LOTL (lesbians on the loose) magazine? We came across a few solicitors in there. Even though most of them are Sydney based i am sure you could ring or email them to find someone suitable in your area. The other alternative is the call the family court and see if they have any legal teams on their register that deal with your sort of situation.

    Good luck and if i can help you in any way please dont hesitate to ask.
    Claire

  12. #12

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    Default A Curly Question

    Thanks Curmon for your guidance on my earlier question.

    In the meantime, does anyone have any advice based on their own experience with regards to using anonymous sperm donor in Australia. Are there any clinics here in Australia who deal with anonymous sperm donors (sourced locally or internationally)?
    How does the Registrar of Births react when you lodge a birth certificate with one biological parent missing off the paperwork?


    thanks

    Natas

  13. #13

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    Natas,

    We are currently undergoing IVF through the RPA fertility clinic in Sydney using an anonymous donor. I know that they are no longer taking new clients due to the shortage of donors, but i am happy to try and answer any questions you may have.

    As far as lodging the birth certificate with only one biological parent, there are plenty of single mums out there that would not know who the father of their child is, either blank is left in the space or unknown. I know that when it gets to our turn to fill in the paper work for the birth certificate we will be hyphenating our childs surname to inlude both mine and my partners and we will also be writing my partners in the "fathers" part as well......wether they accept it or not who knows but at least we would have tried.

    Claire

  14. #14

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    Default interesting

    Hi Claire

    Thanks for your note. So that is interesting - RPA in Sydney deals with anonymous sperm donors. In the past, would they allow the import of sperm from sperm banks overseas? Or do they only deal with local donors?

    Out of interest, in my research, I found that quite a few clinics in Australia do not deal with anonymous sperm donors. Do you know of any which do?

    kind regards

    Nat

  15. #15

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    Every clinic i know only allow known donors to be used and they would have to have a series of counsiling sessions with their current partner as well. Its to make sure that everyone understands what they are getting into, now and in the future.

    Merry Chrismas
    Claire

  16. #16

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    I think the lack of sperm donors mean that there just isn't the possibility of unknown sperm donors in most areas... though we must have got pretty lucky because we were able to use an unknown donor through our clinic... no donors are anonymous these days though becaue of the law that allows the child to contact the sperm donor when they turn 18.

  17. #17

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    Leasha.. congrats on your pg, I hvnt been in for awhile and just read that u were expecting.. so again.. congrats and we wish you and ur partner all the best..

  18. #18

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    Dear Claire / Curmon,
    How are you doing? I was wondering whether you could send me a copy of a parenting order, which you referred to in an earlier posting? My email address is [email protected].
    Also, does anyone have a contact name and phone number for a good solicitor in sydney / nsw who is experienced in putting together parenting orders? If so, I would really appreciate the contact details. Cheers Nat

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