Law change gives birth to a 'co-mother'
Both women in a lesbian couple can now be granted legal parenting rights without having to go through an adoption process
A recent law change now gives lesbian couples the same parenting rights as heterosexual couples.
Under the previous regulations governing parental rights of lesbian couples having children, only the woman giving birth was recorded as the child’s legal parent at birth. The other woman was not considered a legal parent until she had completed the adoption process.
The new rule now means both women will be granted legal parenting rights at the time of the child’s birth, as is the case with heterosexual couples.
According to the terms of the new law, the woman not giving birth to the child will officially be registered as a 'co-mother', and will be granted the same parenting rights as fathers.
Previously, the adoption process could only begin after the child was born. In the event that the identity of the biological father was known, the adopting woman would have to wait two and half years until she could seek to adopt the child.
If the biological father of the child is known, the law still leaves open the possibility for the man to ne listed as the legal father.