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SPCA Media Release: NSW LAW SAYS FATHERS NOT REQUIRED - 1 June 2008

1 June 2008
MEDIA RELEASE

NSW LAW SAYS FATHERS NOT REQUIRED

PARENTAGE & FATHERHOOD

A child in NSW will legally be able to have two mothers and no father under new laws being fast-tracked through the NSW Parliament. The concept of a two-mother family is set to be enshrined in law, taking away the need for fathers when lesbians and their partners have fertility treatment. "Children's rights advocates and parenting groups are horrified at this development which extinguishes the child's inalienable right to have and know his or her own natural father", Federal Director of the Shared Parenting Council of Australia, Mr Ed Dabrowski said today.

"The Bill is a scandal", said Mr Dabrowski, "because it will eliminate fatherhood by creating a false record as to the child's true parent, replacing the biological natural father with the name of the mother's de-facto lesbian partner on the birth certificate. It will create a presumption of parentage which is a legal fiction." Mr Dabrowski emphasised that "Australians want the truth about parentage to be recorded on birth certificates, not a made up lie that denies there ever was a father".

"It would be wrong to pass a law where parenthood was not recognised because clearly there must be a father for a child. Any fertility treatment with integrity must necessarily include the father and be recognised on the birth certificate", said Mr Dabrowski.

"This Bill is radical because it introduces for the first time a definition of parentage (and potentially marriage) which is not based on biological sex. This violates all social norms and accepted standards. The next step will be Transgender couples demanding a right to have children and marriage as well.

MARRIAGE RIGHTS - MARRIAGE EQUIVALENCE

"The Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Bill 2008, will if enacted, impart equivalent rights to cohabiting lesbians that ordinarily flow from the marriage certificate", "It should be opposed because it exploits children by using their birth certificate to record a false presumption of parentage of a "second mother" ignoring the existence of the "first and natural father"', said Mr Dabrowski.

"The NSW Legislation's extension of "marital status" to "marital or domestic status" which when read with the proposed definition of "de facto relationship", conflates and confuses the state of marriage or co-habitation by couples of opposite sex, with the co-habitation of couples of the same sex.

The effect of the Bill is to discriminate against millions of NSW mums and dads who will no longer be regarded in law as mothers and fathers, instead being de-gendered to the highly fluid concept of "parent."

In tipping the law on its head, a hidden agenda is revealed in the Bill which seeks to impose legal equivalence between same-sex couples and married couples by removing innate differences between traditional mum-and-dad headed families and co-habiting homosexuals", Mr Dabrowski said. "Ideology drives these narrow self-interest groups who aim to hasten genderless marriage by 'legislative stealth' and erode Federal Law which sensibly reserves marriage for a man and a woman", Mr Dabrowski said today.

"Ms Verity Firth, Minister for Women, shields her Government's true agenda behind alleged concern for a miniscule minority of same-sex couples, but revealingly then seeks to impose extreme legislation with a radical pro-homosexual indoctrination agenda on all citizens of New South Wales.

"The Premier Mr Morris Iemma and his cohorts have neither right nor mandate to attack the very fabric of family life and the safety afforded children in the traditional home. Clearly the goal of this Bill is not to enhance children's rights, but to disregard the traditional family, and its beliefs, and respect for a mum and dad raising the kids", said Mr Dabrowski.

What's the alternative?

Mr Butler, the executive Secretary of the Shared Parenting Council said today, "there is no need to reject the fundamental presumption that every child has a mother and a father; leaving dads off the birth certificate is just unnecessary."

"In the less common case where the mother's same-sex partner asserts a parenting role but is not listed on the birth certificate, a parenting order from the Family Court would give the non-biological parent equal shared parental responsibility if that is the aim of this rushed legislation", said Mr Butler.

FREEDOM & RELIGIOUS FREEDOM / DISCRIMINATION

"The misleading claim by Ms Verity Firth, Minister for Women, that the reforms are "expanding protections for same-sex couples", conceals the underlying agenda to remove protection and recognition afforded traditional couples and lower the high esteem held for motherhood and fatherhood in our culture, religions, society and in the law itself.

"Volunteer parenting groups and people of conscience everywhere are outraged at this government's attack on fathers and the institution of fatherhood", remarked Mr Ed Dabrowski. "This comes on the heels of a sham inquiry by the NSW Government intended to roll back legislative reform encouraging shared parenting and greater parental involvement by fathers after separation and divorce. What we have here is a particularly evil agenda that extinguishes fatherhood and children's rights and will make use of the term "Father" potentially discriminatory in everyday settings, even at schools and wherever families engage in public life", said Mr Dabrowski.

"This Bill increases discrimination and reduces freedom, particularly religious freedom to distinguish between same-sex couples and married couples. Church institutions could be put out of business; particularly those faith-based organisations which fail to recognise or service the "two-mum" family due to the double-bind of respecting State law on the one hand but violating church morality and Church law on the other.
Churches acting true to their faith and beliefs could be found guilty of discrimination and have no choice but to shut down operation of their service agencies", said Mr Dabrowski.

"Ms Verity Firth, Minister for Women, promotes de-gendering existing State legislation (over 57 Acts), to promote gay parentage, at the expense of the mums and dads. Her same-sex parentage presumptions will rob Children of their true biological link to their own father and family of origin, as well as hereditary health history, family history and leave gaps in their personal identity. It only compounds the problem of children being artificially conceived to be raised without the richest benefit of a father.

"Marriage is a core fundamental social institution; so too is the family headed by both mum and dad - it's the way we transmit our society into the next generation. The NSW Bill will weaken the link between marriage and the natural family, and the overwhelming reality that children are produced as the result of male-female sexual and romantic attractions. Instead of imposing a reckless social experiment we need to teach the next generation; if we want children not to be raised in fatherless households and all the suffering that ensues: we need to raise children to become young men and women who believe it is important that children have a mother and father.

NSW Attorney General

"It is worth noting that we have further serious concerns about this legislation", said Mr Wayne Butler, the Executive Secretary of the Shared Parenting Council.

"The fact this legislation is being made retrospective via clause 2 commencement by proclamation seems to be an attempt to bypass the normal democratic system and normal process of checks and balances. The Government appears in a hurry to set legal precedents which may prove difficult to repeal afterward", remarked Mr Butler.

"In the hours before debate on this Bill takes place in the NSW Parliament on Tuesday, the NSW Attorney General has gone into major damage control by suggesting "those mothers and fathers who wish to use the terms "mother" and "father" will continue to be able to do so…There will also be the option to use the term parent if that is preferred." The SPCA believes that these statements do not accord with the legislation as written. In any case the Government should not be regulating parental rights and children's rights to the point of extinguishing those rights, or optionally "allowing" parents to continue enjoying their inalienable rights as some kind of exception to the [new] rule.

"He then suggests that this is not a matter determined through the legislation but an administrative matter for the Registrar of Birth Death and Marriages.

"If this is the case the situation is far more serious. The Bill would increase the latitude and widen the discretion of the Registrar whom already allows "Father Unknown" to be inserted on current Birth Certificates and names of "Other Persons" to be used, with no audit or substantial verification checks done on registrations, nor any confirmation from BOTH parties that the information supplied is correct. The fact that the Department does not apply any substantial penalties for false declaration is also a very major cause for concern.

"Hospitals provide birth registration papers to the mother. The new legislation opens the door for any couples that have not yet registered the child on the Birth Certificate or who are experiencing marital discord or who are having disagreement about the name of the child, to have one of the parents (the mother) do as she likes with no recourse from the father.

The Attorney General says that the new Bill will give equal rights to children in the areas of "workers Compensation." "This is a complete nonsense", Mr Butler said today. "Workers Compensation is for an injured worker. The financial and economic benefit flows to the family unit not the child through any required legislation", he said.

In a letter to the SPCA on Friday the Attorney General said the new law will have both their parents recognised and give equal rights to children of same sex couples across the state, however Mr Butler said "the fundamental fact which has been overlooked, is that children who are brought up in same sex households are already getting the same benefits as other children at school and other social areas where the "other parent" has the benefits that flow through the existing status of guardian which is used on school registrations and other documents."

"This Bill is hastily constructed and has not considered the Federal legislation around Child Support and Centerlink benefits", said Mr Butler. Nor has it had wide community input - worse than these omissions, the parents of NSW and their children, being the most significant stakeholders, have not been consulted in this hasty rush to legislate", Mr Butler emphasised.

The Shared Parenting Council of Australia (Children's Rights Council of Australia) calls on all men and women of conscience to reject and oppose the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Bill 2008, and if required, to be prepared to exercise their conscience vote for the safety of children, preservation of motherhood and fatherhood and defence of marriage at the next NSW State Election.

Ends.

For further information -

Edward Dabrowski, Federal Director, Tel. 0409 917 345
Wayne Butler, Executive Secretary, Tel. 0411 850 677
Shared Parenting Council of Australia
www.spca.org.au
www.familylawwebguide.com.au

Footnote:

The implications of the NSW legislation and its wording are far reaching. The legislation will:-

-   Treat children as objects and property
-   de -couple the child from his/her natural biological parents
-   de-gender the role of "mother" and "father" by reducing them to "parents"
-   Eliminate "paternity leave" altogether from State law and replace it with the de-gendered "partner leave"
-   equate same sex parentage to traditional heterosexual parentage
-   Deny children the truth as to who is their natural biological father
-   Allow the removal of the natural biological father from the child's birth certificate by an aggrieved partner or failure of the partner to place the correct details on the originating birth certificate.
-   Replace the biological father with the mother's lesbian partner on the birth certificate or other party of convenience
-   Deny children a true and accurate birth record
-   Create a birth certificate which is a legal fiction
-   Severe the record and lineage to children's father and forefathers
-   Prevent children from knowing their family of origin and knowing that part of themselves which comes from their natural father by preventing reunification with their natural father later in life
-   Deny children their hereditary health information including DNA data and transplant possibilities as they will have no father recorded on their birth certificate
-   Deny children their hereditary wealth by having no record of their true father on their birth certificate
-   Make references to "Father" discriminatory with punitive penalties for churches, schools  and faith-based educational institutions
-   Weaken fathers' claims to continue joint custody of their children after separation or divorce as they enjoyed fully in law before the divorce
-   Pitch mothers' female partners against true fathers as potential replacement parents, and subject children's right to their father to adversarial court contests and adjudication

The NSW Legislation will also;

-   Send the wrong message that families don't require fathers
-   Imply that it is okay to have "anyone on the birth certificate" and that anyone else could supplant the child's biological parent
-   Weaken the standing of fathers in society and in families and in the eyes of children
-   Allow greater latitude in the Family Court as to presumption of parentage with the risk of fathers having their equal shared parental responsibility and parenting time with their children usurped by a judge's deference to the mother's de-facto lesbian partner who may be presumed by a judge to be an equal or better parent.
-   Single out fatherhood for special treatment - only natural fathers are removed from the child's birth certificate, not the natural mother.
-   Set precedents and opens the gate to future re-assignment of parentage for children which may exclude both their natural mother and father for an alternate set of parents, even if they are less stable, unmarried or in a civil union or de-facto relationship
-   Result in child-support cases that arrive from the dissolution of civil unions (same-sex divorce), which will force courts to give full faith and credit to the unions as though they were a marriage - one small step away from validating gay marriage.
-   Profoundly affect Christian marriages and Christian parenting by diminishing fatherhood and reduce legal protection for the traditional family, by weakening the legal bonds of children to their natural mothers and fathers.



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SPCA Media release - NSW LAW SAYS FATHERS NOT REQUIRED
Edited

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