Same Sex Couples: Using Artificial Insemination to have a Baby

Using Artificial Insemination to have a baby in your Same Sex Relationship

The law specifically states who is considered to be the mother and father / mother and mother / father and father, of the child, when the child is conceived through artificial conception with donated genetic material.

Changes were made to the Family Law Act 1975 some time ago that recognise the role of both partners as parents, in a same sex de facto relationship.

Accordingly, these laws apply to both heterosexual relationships and those in same sex relationships.

Female Same Sex Relationships

When a child is born to a female same sex couple, the law presumes the child’s mother to be the partner who carried the pregnancy and gave birth to the child.

The child is a child of both de facto partners, provided:



  • the same sex couple was a de facto couple at the time the artificial conception procedure was carried out; and
  • the non-birth parent consented to the carrying out of the artificial conception procedure.

Who provided the genetic material, or whether the genetic material is provided by several different people, is not relevant.

This means it is not relevant whether both donor sperm and donor ova were used, such that the child has no biological relationship to either parent.

Female Same Sex Relationships – Registering the Birth

Both same sex partners can be listed as “parents” on the child’s Birth Certificate.

Note though that only the partner who carried the pregnancy and gave birth to the child can be listed as the child’s mother.

In some Australian States, female same sex couples can have a child through a surrogacy arrangement.

In those circumstances both partners would also be recognised as the child’s parents under both State and Federal Law and both parents could be listed on the child’s Birth Certificate.

Male Same Sex Relationships

Even though the definition of “parent” includes heterosexual de facto couples and female same sex couples, it does not cover male same sex couples.

This is because the definition of parent refers to a child born to a woman.

Accordingly, the definition of parent in the Federal Family Law Act 1975 and various State Acts do not assist male same sex couples who wish to be recognised as parents of a child.

Different laws apply in each State to surrogacy arrangements.

Male Same Sex Relationships – Registering the Birth

Generally speaking, if a male same sex couple has a child through a lawful surrogacy arrangement, the partners would be recognised as the child’s parents under State and Federal law and both parents could be listed on the child’s Birth Certificate.

Same Sex Relationships – More Information

If you want to find out about registration of a Same Sex Relationship read our information sheet How do I register a Same Sex Relationship and do I need to.

Read more about Marriage and Civil Unions for Same Sex Couples in the information sheet We’re in a Same Sex Relationship – Can we have a Civil Union.

The laws about fostering or adopting children for same sex couples is explained in our information sheet We are a Same Sex Couple – Can we Foster or Adopt Children.

Find out more about having a baby through artificial insemination in the information sheet Using Artificial Insemination to have a baby in a Same Sex Relationships.

You may have acquired some assets or got yourself into a position where you are earning a very good wage. The information sheet Should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement to protect myself may provide some helpful information for you.

If you are thinking about entering into a Cohabitation Agreement with your partner, read the information sheet What type of Binding Financial Agreement do I need for more information.

De Facto Relationships – More Information

It might also be important for you to read the checklist of things a court looks at to decide whether you are in a de facto relationship, the time limits applicable to your de facto relationship, how to protect your assets, the threshold requirements for de facto couples to be apply to apply for property settlement and other important legal information.

You can read more in the following sections of our website:


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