New South Wales (NSW) is a state in Australia that has been at the forefront of LGBT rights within the country. Over recent years, significant strides have been made toward recognising and protecting the rights of LGBT families. This progress has been driven by the efforts of various advocacy groups and individuals who have pushed for legislative reforms aimed at ensuring equality and fairness for all. In this article, we will delve into the current state of LGBT family law in NSW, highlighting the challenges faced by the community and the implications of these laws for LGBT individuals and families.

Marriage Equality

In 2017, after an inundation of votes the federal government legalized same-sex marriage in Australia, granting LGBT couples the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples. Since then, same-sex marriages have become increasingly common. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a staggering 3,149 same-sex marriages were recorded in Australia after the first year of legalising it, with this number nearly doubling to 5,765 in the following year.

Parenting Rights – LGBT Family laws

NSW law recognizes both same-sex and opposite-sex de facto relationships, which means that same-sex couples can access the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples in matters such as parenting and property settlement. In 2010, the federal government amended the Family Law Act to remove discriminatory barriers preventing same-sex couples from adopting children, which means that same-sex couples can now adopt children in the same way as opposite-sex couples.

NSW law also recognizes the legal parentage of same-sex couples through surrogacy. The Surrogacy Act 2010 (NSW) allows same-sex couples to become the legal parents of a child born through surrogacy, provided certain conditions are met. This has allowed many same-sex couples in NSW to have children and form families.

Discrimination Protections for LGBT Individuals and Families

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). LGBT individuals and families in NSW are protected from discrimination in areas such as employment, education, and access to goods and services. However, despite progress in recognising the rights of LGBT individuals and families in NSW, discrimination can still transpire. Consequently, continuous endeavors are being made to fortify anti-discrimination safeguards for the LGBT Community in NSW.

Transgender Rights

NSW law recognizes the right of transgender individuals to have their gender identity legally recognized. The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 (NSW) allows individuals to alter the gender listed on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery or hormonal treatment. As a result, transgender individuals in NSW can acquire legal documents that accurately portray their gender identity with more ease.


Overall, NSW has made significant progress in recognizing and protecting the rights of LGBT individuals and families. The legal reforms and initiatives aimed at recognizing and protecting the rights of LGBT individuals and families have made it easier for same-sex couples to form families and transgender individuals to access legal documents that reflect their gender identity. However, unfortunately, discrimination and legal challenges still exist, and ongoing work is required to ensure that all LGBT individuals and families in NSW are treated fairly and equitably under the law.

Here at Ramsden Family Law, we are proud supporters and advocates for the LGBT community. We practice de facto and same-sex relationship laws. If you need further advice from our expert family law team, please get in touch with us at 1300 749 709 to see how our experienced team can assist you.