Ready Parent One! Changes to ACT Birth Certificates

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SHANE Rattenbury says parents will now have a greater choice as to how they are referenced on their child’s birth certificate following the introduction of the Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.

“The Bill will give parents the option to be referred to as either mother, father, parent one or parent two, which gives all parents equal recognition on their child’s birth certificate,” Shane said.

“While for many parents this will not change anything, it is important legislation that will have a positive, personal impact for many families in the ACT. It recognises that different families are made up in different ways and that the old ‘binary’ view of mother or father is no longer always the most appropriate terminology to describe parenting roles and identities.

“The bill also introduces a recognised ‘details certificate’, which sets out personal information including gender. The details certificate will allow intersex, transgender and gender diverse people residing in the ACT, who were not born here, to have their gender identity officially recognised in the same way as those people who were born in the ACT

“Identifying as one gender and being documented as another can be devastating for an individual and can have a negative impact on an individual and their family. In 2014 the ACT Government took steps to stop this happening for people who were born within the ACT. We are pleased to now be resolving this situation for all ACT residents.

“The Bill also removes gender specific terms from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1994 and the Parentage Act 2004.

“The terms mother and father have been removed as these are, for a variety of reasons, increasingly not appropriate for all families.

“These changes are part of the Government’s commitment to creating an open and accepting community in the ACT and recognising gender diverse families and parents is an important step in that direction.”

The Bill will also make a number of other specific amendments to:

  • allow for recognition of interstate parentage orders;
  • provide flexibility in documenting name changes; and
  • allow for proof of identity cards. This will assist people who do not have other forms of identity and where a proof of age card is not appropriate.

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