Domestic partnership in Tasmania
Legal recognition of
Marriage Performed in some jurisdictions Recognized, not performed Civil unions and
Performed in some jurisdictions Unregistered cohabitation Recognized in some jurisdictions See also LGBT portal
Tasmania's Relationships Act 2003 provided for registration and recognition of a type of registered partnership in two distinct categories: Significant Relationships and Caring Relationships. The same Act also amended 73 pieces of legislation to provide registered partners with nearly all of the rights offered to married couples within the state. Furthermore, since July 2009, these relationships are recognised at federal level, providing couples with almost all of the federal rights and benefits of marriage. The legislation came into effect on 1 January 2004. In September 2010, the Parliament of Tasmania approved legislation to recognize same-sex unions performed outside Tasmania as a significant relationships.
Both same-sex and mixed-sex couples can register a Significant Relationship if both are unrelated, unmarried adults living in Tasmania.
Likewise, two adults residing in Tasmania, related or not, can register a Caring Relationship if one provides the other with domestic support and personal care. The parties cannot be married to each other, cannot be in an existing significant or caring relationship, and neither can be receiving payment for the care of the other either from employment or government departments.
Rights and benefits
Both types of relationships provide some rights in the following areas:
- Superannuation (pension/retirement benefits)
- Health Care
- Hospital Visitation
- Property Division
- Employment Conditions (such as parenting and bereavement leave)
Adoption and parenting rights
Same-sex couples cannot be assessed to be adoptive parents of children relinquished by other people (the full joint adoption process) the only law that discriminates against same sex couples in Tasmania. However, they may adopt their partner's child or children they already care for in some circumstances.
Under the Status of Children Act 1974 (section 10C)  same-sex partners of women who give birth to children conceived through sperm donation, IVF or other artificial reproductive technology will be presumed to be the child's other parent or co-mother in the same way as male partners of heterosexual women since 1.1.2004 (when the Relationships Act 2003  commenced). Lesbian co-mothers who went under IVF can have both female names on the birth cirtificate so they can access the same rights and duties for their children (such as medical or hospital forms, education processes, access to entitlements, etc.). The legislation on parentage from IVF is retrospective (meaning the laws apply for co-mothers even before the law went into effect) as it is currently in the WA, NT, ACT, NSW, VIC, QLD and the Commonwealth.
Recognition from other jurisdictions of Australia
Partnerships that are registered in Tasmania are not automatically recognised in most parts of Australia when travelling or moving interstate. Since being elected in 2007, the then current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, had been encouraging all states to create relationship registers identical to Tasmania's model in order to create nationwide uniformity and consistent rights, while at the same time not supporting anything that appears too similar to marriage. The following jurisdictions currently recognise Tasmanian registered partnerships since 2010:
- Australian Capital Territory (civil partnership)
- New South Wales (registered partnership)
- Victoria (Australia) (registered partnership)
The Australian Commonwealth Government also recognises a Tasmanian registered partnership as a "de facto relationship" under federal law. De facto couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, are entitled to nearly all of the federal rights of marriage since 1 July 2009.
Applications for Significant or Caring Relationships can be registered in person or by mail by filing an application for a Deed of Relationship with the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Hobart. As of July 2007, the registration fee was $137.50.
- ^ a b RELATIONSHIPS AMENDMENT (RECOGNITION OF REGISTERED RELATIONSHIPS) BILL 2010
- ^ a b Tasmania votes to recognise foreign same-sex marriages
- ^ a b "Tasmania to recognise same-sex marriage". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010-09-30. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/29/3025417.htm. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
- ^ a b Tasmania moves on marriage
- ^ ""Relationships Act: The Tasmanian Approach"</". Partners Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples. 2006-04-03. http://www.buddybuddy.com/d-p-taz.html. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
- ^ a b http://www.relationshipstasmania.org.au/parentingrights.html Relationships Tasmania
- ^ "Births, Deaths, and Marriages: Relationships". Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Department of Justice. http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/bdm/relationships. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages
- Foreign recognition of registered Tasmanian relationships
- Text of the Tasmanian Relationships Act 2003
- Partners Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples: "Relationships Act: The Tasmanian Approach"
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