Are you thinking about having children? Or has a friend asked you to help create their family?

The good news is that because of federal and Victorian reforms in 2008 (which Rainbow Families Council worked hard to bring about) it’s now much easier to create our families in Victoria, and most same-sex parented children conceived and born here can now have their family relationships recognised and protected.

The not-so-good news is that it’s complicated! Many decisions you will make on your road to parenthood have legal implications that you should be aware of.

These include:

  • how to make your family
  • who to ask for help
  • how to find a donor, surrogate or co-parent
  • how you might attempt conception, and
  • what roles everyone will have.

Your choices don’t just have legal implications, of course. Other things to consider include the emotional consequences, your values, health and medical issues, and what you might do if conflict arises.

Rainbow Families and the Law kit

But don’t worry – we’re here to help! We have created a comprehensive guide to the laws and many other issues you need to know about. The full ‘Rainbow families information kit’ is available to download here, and we have woven its text throughout this website. It’s based on years of research, advice from legal experts and the relevant government departments, and the experiences of literally hundreds of prospective parents, families and donors.
Download the kit

You’ll see that we make many references to conflict, whether between couples, or between parents and their children’s donors or surrogates. This is not because it’s more likely in our families. It’s because that’s what much of family law is about: what should happen if things go wrong.

But it is important to recognise that the law is still coming to terms with our diverse families. That can mean we’re sometimes vulnerable to confusion and differing expectations, which can contribute to conflict. So it’s critical that everyone involved in making your family understands and talks through the legal, emotional, health and other implications of every decision you make. The most important people it will affect, of course, are your children!

Making a family – or helping someone else to do so – is one of the most wonderful, heart-expanding experiences in the world. We wish you the very best with your journey.

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