Gay Qld dads stuck in legal limbo with toddler

surrogate mother gay qld dads

Unsuccessful attempts to obtain an Australian passport for their son born to a surrogate mother leave two gay Qld dads stuck in Canada.

Kyle and Kent Stewart married in Canada and became dads last year when they welcomed baby Kaden.

One of the men is Kaden’s biological father. Canadian law recognises both gay Qld dads as parents.

The couple told Fairfax Media they’ve legally obtained Australian citizenship for Kaden. However, Australian law has stymied their attempts to obtain a passport for their child.

The Canadian surrogate mother signed a statutory declaration rescinding her parental rights over the baby. But Australia’s Passport Office still considers her a parent, requiring her consent for the application.

But because she isn’t Kaden’s legal parent and has officially rescinded parental responsibility, she doesn’t want to give the consent.

Without passport, parents cannot bring Kaden home

“At the moment we can’t take [Kaden] home so he is missing out on seeing his aunties and uncles; he has a new cousin who was born a few weeks ago,” Kyle said.

“We have two daughters with a same-sex female couple on the Sunshine Coast so he has two siblings that he can’t meet.”

A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Australian law required the surrogate’s consent.

“A birth mother is considered to be a person with parental responsibility for a child, whether or not she has a biological link to the child or is named on the child’s birth certificate.

“This means the surrogate mother’s consent is required for the issue of a passport to the child.”

Brisbane family lawyer Stephen Page told Fairfax Media he disputes the Passport Office’s interpretation of the law.

“If you have two parents, as we have here, and there is no court order in Australia saying that they don’t have parental responsibility, [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] has this idea that there is a third person who has parental responsibility.”

Mr Page said the family was left with three options, none of which provided them guarantees.

“Option one is to persuade the surrogate to sign the form. However, she finds that idea offensive because she isn’t the parent. Two is to go to an Australian court and seek a declaration that they are the parents. Finally, three is not to apply for an Australian passport.”

More Surrogacy News:

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Nerelle Harper

Nerelle is a contributor for QN Magazine and QNEWS Online

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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