What is LGBTQIA?
LBTQIA represents the collective community of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual or allied. In isolation these letters represent:
- Lesbian – A same sex female relationship.
- Gay – A same sex male relationship.
- Bisexual – A person who is attracted sexually and / or romantically to both males and females.
- Transgender – A person whose gender identity is opposite to their biological sex.
- Queer – An umbrella term used to describe a range of identities.
- Intersex – A term which describes an assortment of conditions where a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that is not typically male or female.
- Asexual or allied – A person who does not experience any sexual attraction to other persons.
LGBTQIA Legal Rights
The rights of our clients must be preserved regardless of their gender identity, biological identity or sexual orientation.
We strive to ensure that our client’s legal rights are protected in all facets of day to day life.
We are familiar with all laws that effect the rights of the LGBTQIA community including:
- The recognition of same-sex and transgender marriages.
- Laws concerning LGBTQIA parenting including adoption and transgender children.
- Anti-discrimination / anti-bullying legislation.
- Laws regarding access to assisted reproductive technology and access to sexual reassignment surgery / hormone replacement therapy.
- The legal acknowledgement of persons of reassigned gender.
Changing gender on legal documents
Changing your gender from a medical perspective is an incredibly difficult, time consuming and expensive process. Where a person has transitioned from one gender to the other, self-identification particularly in legal documents should be a priority.
At Forge Legal we strive to ease the burden of changing your gender in documents such as your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate and government records. Having already experienced considerable change with transitioning, your identity documents should be trusted to experts in LGBTQIA issues.
We assist clients with recognizing which identity documents can be changed, the procedural and medical requirements to change gender status. Don’t try and navigate this process yourself after your tremendous journey when you can trust our dedicated, understanding lawyers to assist you.
Adoption for LGBTQIA couples
The right to adopt for same-sex couples has been accessible in Australia since April 2018, with Queensland at the forefront having legalized same-sex adoption in 2016. There is no difference in the legal requirements between adoption for same-sex couples and step-parent adoption.
Adoption in Australia is a difficult process that involves the Family Court of Australia, the Chief-Executive of Adoption Services and the Children’s Court of Queensland. Our team of family lawyers welcomes the opportunity to bring families together through adoption. We walk hand in hand with our clients in each stage of the process until a final adoption order is made.
Same sex IVF / Surrogacy
While commercial surrogacy is illegal in Queensland, surrogacy for same sex couples is recognized under the Surrogacy Act 2010 (QLD) with the consent of the involved persons.
For same sex couples with children born via surrogate, the parents must apply for parentage of the child. That is to transfer the legal responsibility for the child from the surrogate to the parents. This involves an application to the Children’s Court of Queensland.
With a parentage order, same-sex couples have the legal right to make decisions for the child. However, the child must be between 28 days and 6 months old before a parentage order can be made. There are also other requirements which must be met for a parentage order.
Same-sex female couples can identify themselves on the child’s birth certificate as the birth parent and the other parent. For children born through IVF, assisted insemination or self-insemination to a same sex female couple, both parents have legal responsibility for the child.
Before making the life-changing decision to have a child as a same sex couple, it is crucial that you seek legal advice as to your rights as the parent/s of that child. Our experienced family lawyers will handle your matter discreetly with care and consideration to the needs of your family.
Gender dysphoria is the conflict between a person’s biological gender versus the gender with which that person identifies. For adults experiencing gender dysphoria, it is accepted that they have the capacity to make decisions for themselves when it comes to transitioning from their biological gender to their gender identity. Children who have not yet reached the age of consent, rely on the consent of both parents and the approval of their treating health professional/s before they may start transitioning.
Where both parents consent to their child transitioning and treating health professionals have given permission for transition to occur, the Court does not need to be involved in the process. The Court is required to intervene where one parent does not consent to the child transitioning or the child’s treating health professionals refuse to provide treatment, which is rare but possible.
The Court must be satisfied that the child wishing to transition can make their own decisions and the Court will consider the views and wishes of the child, among other things. If you are struggling to find information relating to your legal rights as a parent, our family law professionals can give you the help and support you need to advocate for your child’s best interests.