What is a parent in 2020?

Date uploaded:
20 Aug 2020

What is a parent in 2020? 

In this presentation, Jeanette Swann and Chiara Bryan explore that question in the context of reproductive technology and changing concepts of family. They examine the relevant provisions of the Family Law Act, including section 60H, and discuss the High Court case of Masson & Parsons, testing the principles of that case against various factual hypotheses and family configurations. They also ask the question, how many parents can a child have? A quirky but related point is considered, being the allocation of parental responsibility to children diagnosed with gender dysphoria who are also Gillick competent.

All up, our commentators conclude that while Masson & Parsons gives certainty to the operation of section 60H and the definition of a “parent”, there are still unanswered questions and manifest scope for legislative reform to ensure that all Australian families are treated equally before the law.

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