Unfortunately, same sex couples are still not able to marry in Australia but hopefully that will change in the near future. The good news for same sex couples is that in all other respects, they have legal rights that are similar, if not identical, to married couples under the Family Law Act.
At Hartley Healy, we are experienced in dealing privately, discretely, and expertly with disputes that arise between same-sex couples and we have experience in dealing with many unique matters that arise from same-sex relationships.
Particularly, our expertise and experience include the following areas:
· Parenting disputes and parentage issues;
· Artificial procedures;
· Same-sex property settlement matters;
· Pre-Cohabitation and Post cohabitation Binding Financial Agreements for same-sex couples;
· Child Support;
· Partner maintenance (de-facto spousal maintenance)
Our client had frozen embryos stored with the Queensland Fertility Group (QFG). The embryos comprised our client’s egg fertilised with sperm from an anonymous donor who was previously chosen by our client and the birth Mother from frozen sperm straws stored at QFG. The birth Mother had been unsuccessful with numerous IVF procedures using her own eggs. The parties agreed that our client would provide her embryos to the birth Mother with the intention that the birth Mother would become pregnant with our client embryos. A child was successfully conceived from this medical procedure.
Our client sought to be recognised legally as a parent of the child including having her name recognised as a parent on the child’s birth certificate. The birth Mother resisted our client’s Application and said that she was the child’s only Mother (parent) and our client was like an Aunt who provided a “special gift”.
Joe Healy successfully litigated this matter to Trial where our client was declared a parent and it was ordered that her name be recorded as a parent on the child’s birth certificate. The birth Mother appealed the Trial Order and Joe then successfully resisted the Appeal with costs.