Politicians from both major parties have vowed to fight proposed changes to NSW adoption laws that would see same-sex couples able to adopt.
The NSW Law and Justice Committee last week released their findings from the same-sex adoption inquiry, urging the government to allow adoption for same-sex couples.
The committee also recommended faith-based adoption agencies be allowed to refuse same-sex couples, but be obliged to refer them to services that could assist them.
Endorsed by a narrow margin of four votes to three, the Committee remained divided over the issue even as they announced its release.
The Coalition’s David Clarke and Labor’s Greg Donnelly, who sat on the committee, have indicated they would be advising their parties to block any reforms.
I don’t think there is any mandate for the Government to act in this report and I don’t think it is in the best interest of the children, Clarke said.
He said he was concerned about forcing religious organisations to go against their beliefs and refer same-sex couples to other agencies.
Donelly said he doubted same-sex adoption would be in the best interests of a child.
A child should be entitled to expect that they will be raised by a mother and a father, he said.
My difficulty is that, in a situation where there is such a difference in the number of children compared to the number of couples seeking a child, that a child may be provided to a same-sex couple and that child will not have the benefit of growing up with a mother and a father.
Committee chair Christine Robertson urged the government to follow the recommendations.
This reform will address discrimination against same-sex couples and their children, removing one of the final areas of NSW law where discrimination … has been allowed to remain, she said.
To allow same-sex couples to adopt will help ensure the best interests of the children are met by our adoption laws.
Greens’ GLBT spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon pushed the Rees Government to endorse the recommendations by offering a guarantee to work with the government to ensure the quick passing of same-sex adoption legislation.
The inquiry’s recommen-dation takes on added significance as it was reported in May that Upper House MP Reverend Fred Nile had won the support of Premier Rees not to back such legislative reform, she said.
Now the Premier has the Upper House report, he should demonstrate that he has not done a deal with Rev Nile and move quickly to work quickly with the Greens to make the necessary legislative changes.