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Austria Establishes Automatic Co-Parenthood for Lesbian Couples | Austria

The Austrian National Council (federal parliament's first chamber) on 21 January, by an overwhelming majority of over 2/3 of votes casted (116:48), has passed federal government's Medically Assisted Procreation Amendment Bill establishing automatic co-parenthood for lesbian couples.


The Constitutional Court with a judgment of Dec 2013 had turned down the statutory ban on donor insemination for lesbian couples. This judgment took effect from 1 Jan 2015. 
The bill passed now copies the provisions for fatherhood in case of medically assisted procreation and applies them to co-motherhood in such cases. 
When a woman in a lesbian partnership gives birth to a child produced by medically assisted procreation her partner becomes second parent if 
a. the two women are in registered partnership when the child is born (or the partner had died not earlier then 300 days before the child´s birth), 
or, if a. does not apply (namely if the two women are not in a registered partnership): 
b. by recognition or 
c. by a court´s decision.
Thus (registered and unregistered) lesbian couples using medically assisted procreation need not turn to adoption. These rules do not apply to private (not medically assisted) sperm donations. In those cases adoption will stay the only way for the partner to become second parent. 

Entry into force: 1st April 2015 (with retroactive effect to all children born since 1st Jan 2015). 


Helmut Graupner

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