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Same-sex parenting

Same-sex parenting

I have been in a same-sex relationship. Does the Family Court treat my family law matter any differently because of this?

The Family Court of Western Australia treats people in same-sex relationships the same as other de facto couples. This means that the Family Court of WA deals with parenting order applications for people in same-sex relationships in the same way they would if the parties were in a heterosexual de facto relationship. For further information, see De facto and same-sex relationships.

In deciding what orders to make in relation to children of same-sex parents, the same as for children of opposite-sex parents, the Court must look at what is in the Best interests of the child. The fact that a parent is or has been in a same-sex relationship is not in itself a relevant factor for the Court to take into account when determining what is in the best interests of the child.

My same-sex partner and I are thinking about becoming parents. What sorts of issues do we need to consider?

If you and your partner are considering adopting or looking at assisted reproductive technology (such as IVF treatment) there are certain legal issues to consider:

  • Who does the law consider to be the parents of a child? There can be difficulties in establishing parentage. There may be differences depending on whether a known or unknown donor is used and what processes are followed to become parents. This can have a potential impact on any parenting orders.
  • Child support issues. Who would be liable to pay child support if the couple separates? What is the position of the donor?

If you are unsure about your legal position as a parent or what the position would be if you were to become a parent, seek specialist legal advice. For more information, see also Adoption or Surrogacy.

Last reviewed: 22/10/2012

Last modified:


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.