Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility is a legal power over the decisions made in connection with a child, it usually applies to the parent with whom the child lives, the resident parent.  Mothers have an automatic right to parental responsibility and do not lose it on divorce. 

In Australia surrogate mothers also have parental responsibility.  In 2008 the law changed to enable the transfer of parental responsibility from the surrogate mother to the couple who intended to bring up the child.


Gay Immigration can take you through step by step and explain the criteria that must be met to obtain a parental order which briefly is as follows:

  • There must be two applicants, it does not matter if they are married or in a civil partnership, or even in an “enduring relationship” without any legal formalities
  • Both parties must be over 18
  • One applicant must be a biological parent – the donor of the egg or sperm used to conceive the child
  • The child must be living with both parents at the time of the application
  • The surrogate mother must agree to the process
  • The parental responsibility order must be applied for within six months of the child’s birth

There a number of variable procedures relating to same-sex couples rights to parental responsibility and how this can be obtained for children conceived with a surrogate mother.  The lawyers at Gay Immigration will be able to assist couples, whether or not they are married or civil partners or unmarried couples to achieve parental responsibility for their children via one route or another.

For further information please email or contact
03 9419 6066.