Minister outlines benefits of adoption changes
Same-sex couples will be able to offer their children stability and permanency with changes to the Adoption Act 2000 passed in the NSW Parliament today.
Minister for Community Services Linda Burney welcomed the amendments to the Act which will allow same-sex couples to adopt children.
The amendments stem from a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Clover Moore, Member for Sydney.
“This is definitely a good result for children, whose interests are paramount,” Ms Burney said.
“Adoption by same-sex couples is a complex and sensitive issue which is why it was a conscience vote. There was genuine debate on this Bill and all Members clearly thought carefully about all the issues involved before deciding how to cast their vote.
“I acknowledge the leadership of both the Premier and the Opposition Leader in the debate and recognise the Member for Sydney for initiating the Bill, and Penny Sharpe MLC for taking carriage in the Upper House.
“The result means that many existing same-sex couple families will benefit because the legislation allows the formal adoption of a child by the birth parent’s partner.
“And, importantly, a larger pool of potential carers is now available for those vulnerablec hildren who cannot live safely at home. Until now, same-sex couples could be approved as foster carers, but were not able to adopt. From now, they can offer the children in their care much needed stability and permanency in a nurturing and secure home.
“There are many social, emotional, legal and material benefits for children of same-sex couples to have their existing parental relationship legally recognised.
“For example, these changes confirm children’s entitlement to an inheritance if one parent dies without leaving a will and provides certainty for the child about custody.”
The Adoption Act will now recognise people in a same-sex relationship as a couple for the purposes of adoption and both people will be able to be listed on the child’s birth certificate.
Faith-based non-government organisations involved in adoptions will not have to provide adoption services to same-sex couples.
“Faith-based agencies sought this exemption and it will now be enshrined in legislation.
“The important point about this Bill is the legal protection it provides for children,” Ms Burney said.
Tags: labor, nsw labor, nsw government, labor party, adoption, same-sex adoption, community services, same-sex adoption in nsw, adoption act 2000, minister for community services linda burney, clover moore, member for sydney