The definition of spouse was recently decided in the High Court case Re: A.M.M. and K.J.O.
The decision arose from an appeal from a decision involving an opposite sex de facto couple in the Family Court. The High Court has ruled that the term “spouse” nowadays must be taken to include “a man and a woman who are unmarried but in a stable and committed relationship”.
What the judges did not rule on is this applied to same sex couples. Two commentators observed that this was now open to discussion and potentially meant that de facto same sex couples could adopt but a same sex couple who had committed their relationship with a Civil Union may not be able to adopt.
What both commentators said was that this matter needed to be reviewed by parliament and the suggestions of the law commission enacted.