The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby was pleased when the NSW Parliament Law and Justice Committee recommended abolishing current laws banning adoption by same-sex couples.
Disappointingly, however, the Committee also recommended an exemption for faith-based agencies, allowing them to continue to discriminate against same-sex couples even though their adoption services are publicly funded.
While the GLRL acknowledges that nobody has the automatic right to adopt, we are delighted the Committee accepted our argument that same-sex couples should enjoy the right to be equally assessed before the law based only on their capacity to provide a safe and loving home environment, not on their sexual orientation.
It is absurd that under current law a gay man or lesbian can adopt only as an individual, not as a couple with their same-sex partner.
Legal recognition of parentage underpins many benefits and protections for children and parents in health care, social security, taxation and elsewhere in the law.
Same-sex adoption is already permitted in Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and in some circumstances in Tasmania.
The GLRL is keen to hear the stories of people who will be directly impacted by these reforms. We want to hear personal accounts from same-sex couples, their children, and parents and friends of same-sex couples. If you have a story, please contact us by emailing glrl@glrl.org.au, by phone 9571 5501, or by visiting our website (www.glrl.org.au).
The community can take action by sending an email to Premier Nathan Rees and Minister for Community Services Linda Burney. The GLRL has created a form (www.glrl.org.au) where you can enter your details and personalised message which will be automatically sent to Rees and Burney.
Together let’s work to remove one of the last remaining laws that directly discriminate against same-sex couples and their children in NSW.

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