A Victorian lesbian couple attempted to get their names registered as parents of a daughter born using a sperm donor but a Registrar refused to do so.
The Registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages has refused to register Tamara and Linda Arc-Dekker as parents to their third and youngest daughter in her birth certificate. In the birth certificate of the four year old, the former is named as “mother” while the latter’s name is listed under “parent.” The couple has taken the state’s Registrar to court with a call for mentioning both of their names either as “mothers” or “parents.”
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled that only one of them has the right to be legally named as “mother”, and Tamara being the one who gave birth to the child, will be considered as the daughter’s mom. During the proceeding, Tamara told the tribunal that the birth certificate of their daughter has led to an “artificial discriminatory distinction” between both mothers of the child.
Senior tribunal’s member Ian Proctor said that Victorian law doesn’t allow two women to be described as a “mother” for a child but they might be listed under the “parents” column. He added that he would ask the Registrar to put their names as “parents” if that is acceptable. “In my view, agreeing that the Registrar had the power to record mother/mother would go beyond a fair, large and liberal interpretation,” he said as quoted by The Australian.
Following the decision made by the tribunal, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Sean Mulcahy said that the verdict must lead to further amendment to the laws to ensure two women or men could be recognized as a kid’s mother or father.
The birth certificate was issued to the Victorian lesbian couple in 2015. However, the Registrar’s office said that he had no right to make changes in the rules, and hence, he could not mention both Tamara and Linda as “mothers.”