A Melbourne mum has called for the Australian government to update the child passport application form to better cater to same-sex parents.
Jessica Boyd, who wants to travel overseas with partner Liz Williams and their five-month-old baby Grace, said the “antiquated” Australian passport application process needed to be updated because it still requires a child’s “mother” and “father” to be listed on the form.
Ms Boyd told Yahoo7 she wasn’t sure how to fill out the form as her daughter’s birth certificate lists her as “mother” and her partner as “parent”.
“It’s such a joke. The passport office has ‘mother’ and ‘father’ only, and no other options,” she said.
“Their solution is to cross our ‘father’ and write ‘whatever else’.”
Ms Boyd said the couple were hesitant about crossing things off on the government form and risk not filling out the application correctly.
She said the couple were told by the passport application helpline it would be acceptable in this instance.
“As a government institution, I’m just baffled they don’t at the very least update the text on the online form to ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’, or something like that, as that is so easy to do,” she said.
“It’s lazy homophobia. She acted like it wasn’t a big deal on the phone… It doesn’t seem like a big deal to them, because nobody has stood up and told them it’s offensive.
“It’s discriminatory to any family that’s not your standard [mother and father] family.”
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told Yahoo7 the current passport application forms refer only to “mother” and “father” and a more inclusive option was in the works.
“DFAT is developing a new online application process with updated terminology to reflect the diversity of Australians with parental responsibility,” the spokesperson said.
“With this new process, each client with parental responsibility will be able to specify their relationship to their child.
“The new online application process will be available to families in Australia this year. In the meantime, DFAT encourages clients to cross out and over-write parental terms on the hard copy forms to reflect their actual circumstances.”