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Vic couple fight for mother recognition

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Kaitlyn Offer

A Victorian couple is fighting the Registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages to both be listed as the "mother" or "parent" of a daughter born using a sperm donor.

Tamara and Linda Arc-Dekker have three children, but they are fighting with the Registrar over the titles on their youngest daughter's birth certificate.

In May 2015, a birth certificate was issued with Tamara as the mother and Linda as parent.

However, the couple had applied to the Registrar to both be listed as "mother" as their first preference, or both as "parent" to "reflect the lived reality" of their family, according to orders published by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Tamara, who gave birth to the child, gave evidence to VCAT in their appeal against the 2015 birth certificate.

She claimed the different titles created "an artificial and discriminatory distinction between us as mother of our children" and that their eldest child had noticed "unusual titles and differences" between her and her sister's birth certificates.

Tamara said those differences sent their children an underlying message that a person can only have one 'real' mother, according to the orders.

The couple also believe it breached privacy by revealing which of the two women were the biological parent.

VCAT senior member Ian Proctor found that current Victorian law did not allow for both women to be registered as "mother".

However, Mr Proctor did find they could both be listed as 'parent" and has asked the Registrar to advise the Arc-Dekkers and VCAT by October 11 as to whether it will accept his direction to record the couple as "parent" or if a further hearing should be listed.

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