By SENTHORUN RAJ
Premier Kristina Keneally made a comment in response to David Campbell’s recent ‘outing’, about the appalling conditions under which people feel a need to hide their sexuality.
Responding to the Premier’s concern, it seems apt to look at the current vestiges of legislative inequality in NSW. Specifically, same-sex couples continue to be denied eligibility to be considered for adoption.
Perhaps what makes the policy situation more confusing is that same-sex couples are able (even encouraged) to foster children, but unable to adopt children already in their care.
Inconsistency in Government policy approaches to parenting not only promote homophobic stigmas around same-sex family structures, they also disadvantage children in vulnerable situations from access to loving and caring homes.
Social research on families ably demonstrates that it is the processes of parenting, rather than the family structure, that matters.
With the NSW Government claiming it is committed to the most vulnerable groups in our society, particularly children, how can disallowing same-sex couple adoption be supporting this agenda? If a child is unable to have both their parents legally recognised, they will be denied rights, entitlements and benefits associated with the non-legal parent such as superannuation benefits or workers compensation.
After an extensive parliamentary inquiry, and a decade of law reform recommendations, adoption reform is urgently needed. The GLRL would encourage everyone to make this an issue for the NSW Government.
Please visit www.glrl.org.au to send a form letter to the Premier or contact your local MP and tell them that inaction on adoption is unacceptable.