Legislation which just last week came into force has broadened the descriptions provided on birth certificates. Previously, birth certificates would have stated “mother” and “ father” but now parents will have the option to simply use the term “parent”. These amendments to the descriptions used in birth certificates afford acknowledgements for parents in donor-assisted conception. These Changes to Birth Certificates change allows parents to avoid terms like “mother” and “father” which may not reflect their circumstances.

Importantly, the format of these birth certificates will not be different from other children whose parents have chosen the description “mother” and “father”. The person who gives birth to a child will be the first named on the birth certificate and the option is open to that person to choose the label “mother”’ or “parent”.

In circumstances where there is another parent named on the birth certificate, they will still be somewhat labelled in accordance with their gender as follows:

  1. In circumstances where the second parent is male, that parent can choose either ‘father’ or ‘parent’.
  2. In circumstances where the second parent is female, that parent will be assigned the label ‘parent’.

These are welcome changes to birth certificates which were due to come in as a result of legislation passed in 2015. If you have any family-related matters, please contact us here to discuss.

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