Victorian rainbow families are are still planning to forge ahead with the push for same-sex parent adoption amid fears the campaign has been seriously set back with a new Coalition government.
Victoria’s Rainbow Families Council, which held a strategy meeting last week, will continue to fight for the rights of same-sex parented families regardless of who’s in power.
Rainbow Families Council convenor Felicity Marlowe said the council is keeping an open mind on whether the push for adoption rights can get traction with the change of leadership.
“The whole process of the Victorian Law Reform Commission inquiry into [Assisted Reproductive Treatment] ART and adoption, the final report, and then the referral to a federal committee to deal with adoption issues, all this happened under the ALP government,” Marlowe told the Star Observer.
“So we’re yet to see how the issue of adoption will play out under a Coalition government.”
The Coalition voted overwhelmingly to oppose IVF rights for lesbian couples in Victoria when the Assisted Reproductive Treatment legislation went before parliament in 2008.
On October 7, 2008, then Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said he was opposed to changing the law saying he agreed with the views of Australian medical ethicist professor Margaret Somerville.
“I did agree with her suggestion that providing a same-sex couple with the right to have children ‘simultaneously takes away the right of children to have a mother and a father’ and that children are the only ones who do not give consent to this,” he said.
Then shadow Attorney-General Robert Clark was also vocal in his opposition to the legislation.
Both parties allowed the legislation to go to a conscience vote and only Upper House Liberal Bruce Atkinson voted in favour.
Marlowe said she the push for same-sex adoption rights and other issues affecting same-sex parented families would continue.
“[Now Attorney-General] Robert Clark made it clear during the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act debate in 2008 that he believes every child deserves a mother and a father,” Marlowe said.
“From Rainbow Families point of view, the outcome of that ART debate really sets the bar quite high for what we saw as understanding that love makes a family.
“We would hope now that any further bills or regulations that are about who makes up a family and about the best interests and rights of children continue to acknowledge that a family can have two mums or two dads.”