I'm writing this for single, pregnant women, who are wondering what to put on the birth registration forms when the father wants no involvement. Pay attention, as it's a bit complex.
I have been going through the new laws here in Victoria concerning registering births as a single parent.
Births, Deaths and Marriages has now taken over the registration of donor conceptions. What this means is that home donor conceived babies, [ie turkey basting with a known donor to intentionally make a baby], can be registered as having a donor, not a father. In this case the certificate is issued without a father's name, but his name is held on the donor registry, and can be accessed when the child is 18.
In practice, what this means is that if you write a letter to BDM and state that your baby was donor conceived at home, and the donor also writes a letter stating that your baby was donor conceived at home. He then won't have parental responsibility, but his name will be recorded on the donor registry.
The law differentiates between 'intended parents' and donors. So in this case there would be no need to lie about the identity of the father to obtain a blank certificate, and his name would be available to the child, but he would have no parental responsibility and not be liable for child support.
There is some lack of clarity in what happens if a donor decides to change his mind, [there are cases where donors have been awarded some access to the child]. But stating that a donor never intended to be a parent at birth is legally safer for the mother, than if she were to lie about the father's identity and he changes his mind later on.
So if it's possible to negotiate with an absent father before registering the birth, when neither of you want involvement and you don't want child support, then this may be something worth considering. It's a creative retrospective interpretation of the law, but means that children have their two biological parents registered and both adults have clear roles as parent and donor.
Clear as mud? See Rainbow Families for more details.
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18-11-2010 16:13 #1
Registering Births - New Rules in Victoria
18-11-2010 17:32 #2
I'm wondering, how does state law override Commonwealth law in regards to child support for example for single mothers?
This is something that needs a national and consistent approach. Because at the moment if it's a single parent, then the donor may still be considered the father for purposes of child support. They may also be able to go to court to gain parental responsibility and visitation as well.
I don't think it's fair on potential parents to create such a minefield.
18-11-2010 19:02 #3
18-11-2010 19:13 #4
although i do see men abusing it and saying 'i don't want the baby - just put me down as the donor'
but i would assume the intended purpose is for lesbian couples (or single mums wanting more kids) to create the kids without having to lie about it 'ohh...well see, i got drunk and had s3x with max a backpacker from england...i don't know his last name though - sorry?'
18-11-2010 19:22 #5
18-11-2010 19:25 #6
Mick - the donor thing is mainly clear where there is no involvement, but where there is a 'known' donor there have been some rulings. For example, one woman had a known donor who was a gay man, and when the child was 2 he decided that he wanted access, and he got it, but as a 'person with an interest in the child', ie like an uncle or a grandparent, not as a father, so just some time, not 50/50. Donors cannot be asked to pay child support, the law is clear on that, as they are not parents, but they can get access.
LV - I think more choice is always a good thing. As men don't have the choice to abort or have adopted an unwanted pregnancy, for some couples this may be a solution. It has to be consensual though, as both parents have to agree that this was donation not intentional procreation. For women who very much don't want to share their baby, and men who don't want to be a father, this may be a better way than completely denying the father's existence.
18-11-2010 19:32 #7
I totally agree SPC
18-11-2010 19:33 #8Save Lives Go Vegetarian
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Hey that's really cool! I like that idea. It should be the same in all states. I had a friend in Victoria who conceived using a known donor, she's in a same-sex relationship and is down as the mother but at that time she pretty much had to lie about not knowing the identity of the father so that he wouldn't have to have any more involvement than squirting his stuff into a cup for her to use. She is not a single parent and they are not on benefits but didn't want him to be tied to the baby at this stage. All his details are kept for the baby so that when he's older he will know who his father is, but it was horrible that she had to blatantly lie to keep the father from having to have involvement.
18-11-2010 19:55 #9
18-11-2010 20:06 #10
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