Throughout this online resource we talk about same sex parents, lesbian mums, gay dads, and LGBTIQ parents. Since the earlier editions of Talking Turkey, rainbow families have become more visible, unique and diverse. The language used in this resource seeks to be inclusive of people of diverse sexualities, diverse gender identities and expressions, and intersex people; and we use the singular gender-neutral pronoun 'they' throughout this publication.

This publication is a guide to the law around starting a family and parenting in NSW for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) parents and donors. It attempts to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about legal rights and responsibilities.

This publication does not provide information on situations where a child is conceived through heterosexual sexual intercourse with the intention that the sperm donor will be regarded as a donor only.

Talking Turkey is intended for LGBTIQ individuals, couples and diverse families in NSW. It does not provide information on the laws of other states or territories. Individuals in other states or territories should seek legal advice in their location.

In 2008, there were major changes to NSW and Federal laws affecting same sex couples. Same sex couples and their children are now recognised by most areas of the legal system, with additional protections existing for their families.

It provides information on a range of questions LGBTIQ couples may consider when starting a family, including donor arrangements, surrogacy arrangements, and co-parenting arrangements between two, three or four people.

A number of offences are referred to in this publication. Due to the private nature of family arrangements, it can be difficult for these offences to be enforced. However, the penalties for some of these offences may be severe.

The information in this publication should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The laws relating to many issues in LGBTIQ parenting arrangements continue to evolve, with courts and legislators being called upon to respond as new issues develop. As a result, it is impossible to provide a definitive answer to many of the questions raised in this publication. It is also likely that additional questions not addressed in this publication will arise for LGBTIQ individuals, couples and diverse families.

Note to readers:

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this guide is as accurate and up to date as possible, this guide is not a substitute for legal advice. The law is complex and readers are advised to seek legal advice in relation to their particular situation.