Birth Certificates


Recent changes to birth certificate registration in the ACT have made the terms “mother” and “father” interchangeable. The default is now “birth parent/other parent/mother/father” and “other parent/father/mother.” Will your party commit to reverting to “mother” and “father” as the default? 

Party Answer
ACT Greens

No, we support this change. All political parties supported this change when it was presented to the Legislative Assembly in 2016. The emergence of gender diverse parents means that gendered terms such as "mother" and "father" are no longer true of all parents. The change recognises the gender diversity of parents and removes any mislabelling of parents during the registration process. This continues the commitment the ACT has made to create a socially inclusive community by expanding the legal recognition of gender diversity in our community.

Importantly, the changes do not diminish the importance of the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’. For most families the changes make no difference and they will still use the traditional ‘mother’ and ‘father’ on their certificates. For a number of families however, these changes present the opportunity for their family to be represented in an accurate way, which is very important to them.

ACT Labor The changes in birth certificates, introduced earlier this year, mean that parents now have greater choice as to how they are referenced on their child's birth certificate. The changes are important, and while they won't alter the process for most parents, they ensure that all parents can have equal recognition on their child's birth certificate. The changes provide more options for diverse families. The changes increase fairness and equality for all parents, who love their children.
Canberra Liberals The changes made to the registering of births and parentage in the Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2016 are somewhat problematic. We understand it was the intention of the Government to maintain the primacy of the terms “mother” and “father”, while making available the terms “birth parent” and “other parent”.  The Canberra Liberals made it clear that we would monitor the legislation and make any necessary amendment if it was not working as expected. The Canberra Liberals did not and will not support the expansion of the definition of the terms “mother” and “father” that would have allowed a male to be called "mother" and a female to be called "father". 
Liberal Democrats

The ACT Liberal Democrats do not have a view on the registration of names in the ACT. We would certainly welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with the Australian Christian Lobby should a Liberal Democrat MLA be elected.

Sustainable Australia No policy. We would fully examine all the relevant issues and consult with all community stakeholders prior to policy formation, if elected.