The hypocrisy of the Keneally Government’s approach to parenting has been called into question by the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.

Community Services Minister Linda Burney this week sent out the government’s biggest ever call for foster carers – a call that also targets gays and lesbians.

The calls comes just three months after the NSW Government again denied gays and lesbians the right to adopt children.

Lobby convenor Kellie McDonald said it was time the government got real about parenting.

“Denying couples the capacity to adopt children in long-term care discourages rather than promotes interest in fostering children,” she said.

“The inconsistency between fostering and adoption laws means that children may be denied access to a parent’s superannuation, welfare, worker’s compensation, or death benefits because of the lack of a legally recognised relationship.”

Burney’s call to action this week stressed an urgent need for foster carers to come forward.

“We want to get the message out far wide, and start a public conversation about the importance of fostering and the urgent need for more people to take up this important role,” she said.

Despite the calls from lesbian and gay foster carers, the NSW Government continues to deny same-sex couples the ability to apply to adopt children in their long-term care.

Same-sex couples have been praised for their parenting and have been actively recruited by foster agencies. Burney has previously stated that, “Lesbian and gay foster carers make a highly valued contribution to the NSW out-of-home care service system”.

Lobby policy and development co-ordinator Senthorun Raj the government had no grounds to reject same-sex couples from adopting.

“Same-sex foster carers can apply for parenting orders, however, parenting orders only confer limited parental rights and expire once the child reaches the age of 18,” he said.

“If the Government accepts that sexual orientation is not a meaningful indicator of parenting, there is no reason for continued inaction on amending adoption laws.”

info: Take action by visiting the GLRL website: www.glrl.org.au and submit a letter to the Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister for Community Services and contact your local MP and let them know that inaction on adoption reform is unacceptable.

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