I wanted to post an update after the Let’s Get Equal meeting Wednesday night. A number of issues relating to the presumption of parentage for same-sex parents were discussed and we have some direction in terms of what the next steps are. I have created a Facebook group that will hopefully enable us to communicate a little easier however I will continue to post any important updates or call outs on the mailing list or webpage that you are seeing this on now. The Facebook page is located at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/284594144937532/ The name of the group is (tentatively) SA Family Rights. The group is currently a closed group to give us a certain degree of safety however there are no restrictions as to who can join at this point.
With regard to matters discussed at the meeting it was decided that we would start a new group (hence the formation of SA Family Rights) and liaise regularly with those at Let’s Get Equal who have done all this before. There were a few things that Let’s Get Equal members and Tammy Franks have suggested we do. They are as follows:
1. Find as many people as possible that would be willing to be test cases in court. This isn’t an easy thing to ask of people I know, but unfortunately it is a necessary step in the process. There are risks (albeit small ones) involved such as the possibility of having costs awarded against you. This unlikely but still a possibility. It would also involve having to be fairly open and honest about your family and how it came to be. It has also been stressed that in situations where there is any conflict with donors they would probably not be the ideal test cases. So we are putting a call out to anyone and everyone in the community. Examples of possible test cases could involve for example couples who may have used reproductive specialist but hadn’t been living together for 3 years or couples who had been living together for 3 years but conceived at home. It was also suggested that the “best” test cases would involve donors who don’t have an active and regular role in the child’s life. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have no contact just that they don’t play an active “parental” role. Couples who have one child they can register as having two mothers and not another would be another interesting test case. If you think you, or someone you know, might fit that criteria please feel free to contact us here, on the Facebook page mentioned above or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
2. The second suggestion was for couples who know they do not meet the criteria to fill out the required forms with Births, Deaths and Marriages: (http://www.ocba.sa.gov.au/assets/files/samesexparentage-sheet.pdf) Once that application is rejected you can then appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (information about their processes and contact details can be found here: http://www.aat.gov.au/) If you would like or need any support during those processes feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help or link you up with someone who can assist you.
3. The third aspect of this campaign is to try and get the legislation changed so that it does not discriminate against couples who choose at home insemination or couples who had not been living together 3 years prior to conception. In order to do this Tammy Franks has said she will assist us in collating a list of politicians that will need to be contacted. This would ideally be in the form of a personal visit. In the coming weeks we will post a list of politicians and their contact details as well as some information that will hopefully assist you if you are able to make an appointment. It might also help to write to politicians and we will try to get more information about this in the coming weeks also.
If you feel that you are able to help in any of the ways mentioned above please join our Facebook group or contact us via email (email@example.com). If you feel you may have other skills you can offer such as a legal degree or experience in the court system or experience in lobbying politicians, please contact us on the abovementioned ways also.
Stay tuned for the next update! Oh and if anyone else who was at the meeting on Wednesday can remember things I’ve forgotten then please feel free to add