A person is involved in a de facto relationship with another person, whether of the same or opposite sex, if all of the following conditions occur:
It used to be that de facto relationships applied only to heterosexual but due to the amendments in the Family Law Act, the term now covers same sex couples. These amendments recognize the existence of same sex relationships and raise their status to the same level as those of unmarried heterosexual relationships. Furthermore, the children of same sex relationships are given more security and benefits which are at par with the children of married couples. In fact, same sex de facto couples are now enjoying some of the rights and obligations of married couples.
The amendments effectively removed the discrimination between heterosexual and same sex relationships. The following are some of the rules concerning same sex de facto relationships:
The laws for every state vary with respect to children of same sex de facto couples. For instance, in all states except South Australia, same sex de facto couples are allowed to jointly adopt children. In South Australia same sex couples are eligible for artificial insemination procedures if they have been cohabiting continuously as husband and wife for five years. Under Victoria laws, the female partner of the birth mother is presumed to be the legal parent of any child born if she was the partner at the time of the assisted reproductive technology procedure and she consented to the procedure.