Earlier this year, Partner Reece Ramsden and Associate Sophie Goossens were invited to shed light on the prominent topic ‘Same-sex Parents who Separate: Who gets the children‘, with the notable BenchTV. Such topic is an area of law that remains keenly interested in by Reece and Sophie, making it a niche area of Family Law that is specialised in at Ramsden Family Lawyers.


The 30-minute video discusses how same-sex couples can become parents and the processes that are in place subject to the Family Law Act if same-sex couples separate. The family lawyers dive into what prompted the change in recognition of same-sex couples and parents, and what amendments have progressed on a state by state and federal level since 2008. Some notable amendments include:

  • Same-sex relationships are now included in the definitions of ‘de-facto partner,’ ‘child,’ ‘parent,’ ‘couple,’ and ‘family.’ – Family Law Act.
  • NSW granted equal parenting rights for female partners of mothers, with both being listed as mothers on the child’s birth certificate.
  • Under section 60H of the Family Law Act, if a child is conceived via IVF using a sperm donor and the pregnant women’s marital partner consents to that procedure, then the martial partner is, at law, a legal parent of that child (even in the absence of a biological connection).


A contentious question was swiftly answered by Reece and Sophie, that being does the biological parent have an advantage in Court over the non-biological parent? Here the family lawyers assumed that the child was not adopted, and therefore there is no such presumption in favour of the biological parent. 

Although parenthood is an important factor especially concerning provisions that applies to parents only, there is no hierarchy of preference prescribed under the Family Law Act. Section 65C does not prescribe a hierarchy to favour the biological parent in parenting orders. There is no preference for the biological parent mainly because the Court looks at the child’s best interests as a paramount consideration rather than the circumstances of the child’s conception and the gender of the child’s parents. 

Reece and Sophie concluded the video outlining what factors the family court look at when determining parenting orders, in the instance of jurisdiction. The law now focuses more on responsibilities and the child’s interests rather than ‘child custody’ and ‘parental rights’ and ‘parental control.’ In other words, it is not a matter of who gets the child; rather it is a question of what is best for the child.

The scope of LGBTIQ family law is passionately held by Reece, Sophie and the Ramsden Family Lawyers. Subscribers can watch the video in full at Bench TV CPD. If you have any inquiries on same-sex relationships, child custody or any other family law topics, please do not hesitate to contact our Sydney and Gold Coast family lawyers here or at 1300 749 709.