Many jurisdictions have introduced legislation to ensure that donor-conceived adults can access their donor’s identity. However, these laws are increasingly being used by the parents of donor-conceived children to make contact with donors while their children are still minors. This article considers the possible family law implications of such early contact, in particular whether the donor could ever be declared a legal parent or successfully apply for an order to spend time with the child.
AIFS produces a number of publications relating to our research throughout the year. These include research papers and reports, facts sheets, commissioned reports and submissions. We also publish our peer-reviewed journal Family Matters twice a year and prepared reports for Closing the Gap.
All publications are also listed in our library catalogue.
See also publications from Growing Up in Australia .
In February 2016, new legislation was passed in Victoria that enables all donor-conceived people to obtain identifying information about their sperm, oocyte or embryo donors. This article describes the importance of this legislation, its history and development, how it will operate, and the requirements for information release. This new legislation - known as ‘Narelle's Law’ - is very progressive and provides a model approach for other countries and jurisdictions.
Background information about the DOORS discussion that is addressed in The Family Law DOORS article.
The Family Law DOORS (FL-DOORS) is a whole-of-family risk screening tool designed for use across the family law sector. It was released in Australia in March 2013. Following on from an earlier evaluation study by the Australian Institute for Family Studies that claimed only limited take-up of the tool, this article addresses the criticisms and presents new evidence on current use of and research with the FL-DOORS, referring to data from over 7,200 cases.
This article considers the issue of children’s participation in family law matters in Australia, focusing on the role of Independent Children’s Lawyers. Drawing on international learnings, it reviews how children’s voices in family law court proceedings are heard, analyses different approaches, identifies some structural impediments that may inhibit participatory practice, and outlines some enhancements that could be made to improve children's participation in the Australian family law system.
Research suggests that screening for family violence among mediation clients has not been very effective, and there is also significant disagreement as to what constitutes best practice for screening in this context.
Identifying and responding to family violence and child safety concerns: Findings from the AIFS Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments
The Australian Institute of Family Studies was commissioned to evaluate the 2012 reforms to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) aimed at improving the family law system's responses to matters involving family violence and safety concerns. This article summarises the methodology and findings of the study, which was published across 4 reports in late 2015.
Outlines the role and duties of children's commissioners, and how they differ between Australian states and territories
Australian Institute of Family Studies annual reports describe the research and operations of the Institute, along with highlights for the year.