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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7866

Consent of the Birth Mother

(Question No. 813)

Ms MacTiernan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 18 June 2015:

Further to her answer to question in writing No. 757 (House Hansard, 15 June 2015, page 195), what steps are taken by Australian officials to ensure that birth mothers of overseas born children granted Australian citizenship by paternal descent have given written consent to have their child taken into Australia, in particular, is the birth mother (a) interviewed by Australian officials, and (b) provided with information on the documents they are signing.

Ms Julie Bishop: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a) Before an Australian passport is issued, Australian officials seek verbal confirmation of consent from the birth mother, and

(b) The consent form the birth mother signs includes a covering page with information for the birth mother. The consent form includes two clear options: to provide consent or not to provide consent. The birth mother's consent is witnessed by a qualified person. That person makes a declaration "that the surrogate/birth mother has willingly indicated her consent or otherwise to the named Australian citizen child travelling internationally". Australian officials also seek verbal confirmation of the birth mother's consent from the witness.