The case could also have implications for heterosexual couples, for example when one parent has a new partner.
It was brought to court by two lesbian couples, one in Tyrol and one in Upper Austria, who had to share child support money and childcare time.
Tyrolean Regional Health Insurance rejected a claim from one of the couples, saying that the right to share childcare was limited to heterosexual partners, "connected together by the bond of biological parenthood, foster care, or adoptive parenting."
The Family Ministry points out that if one partner were to adopt the other’s child, which has been possible since last year, then they may well both be entitled to child support.
Registered same-sex partnerships were introduced in Austria in 2010, but gay couples are still not able to jointly adopt children together, or have access to IVF or artificial insemination.
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