A co-mother is a woman who has been given legal parental status for the biological child of her female spouse or partner. The child must have been born with the aid of assisted conception.
A co-mother is considered the legal parent of the child. The rights and rules that apply to a father will also apply to a co-mother.
A co-mother has the same right as a father to parental benefits and parental leave. Co-maternity also has significance for parental responsibility, permanent residence, access and visitation, provider responsibility and inheritance.
Women who are married or registered as a spouse or partner with another woman have the right to be assessed for assisted conception. If the criteria are met, the mother’s spouse or partner can become a co-mother to the child.
To determine co-maternity, the child must have been conceived through assisted conception methods with a known sperm donor at an approved healthcare facility. The spouse or partner of the child’s mother must generally provide written consent to the assisted conception before this is initiated. Spouses must have been married at the time the child was born, and partners/co-habitants must have been living together when assisted fertilisation took place.
If the conditions for determining co-maternity have been met, then co-maternity can be established even if the biological mother and/or the potential co-mother do not wish to participate. If the mother’s spouse, partner or cohabitant has given their consent to assisted conception, this consent will involve obligations in terms of parental responsibilities for the child, even if the relationship ends. The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) may, if necessary, bring a case before the courts to determine co-maternity.
To apply for co-maternity, you must send an application to the Norwegian National Population Register. This application should be sent as soon as the assisted conception has taken place.
The Norwegian National Population Register makes decisions on applications for co-maternity, and the purpose is to ensure that the child has two legal parents. If the conditions are met, the application for co-maternity can be granted before the child is born. The legal effects of the decision will enter into force once the child is born.