Three Victorian Labor MLAs have come out in support of same-sex adoption rights.
The support follows a motion at the Victorian ALP’s State Conference last month to recommit to reviewing the state’s Adoption Act and moves by Sydney MP Clover Moore to grant same-sex couples adoption rights.
Prahran MP Tony Lupton told Sydney Star Observer he personally supports same-sex adoption.
“In the same way I support same-sex marriage and removing discrimination from the statute books generally,” he said. “We have a situation where same-sex couples can be foster parents, and they are assessed according to whether or not they meet the criteria for being foster parents without any regard to their gender identity.
“I think there are good lessons in that in the way we can move forward in relation to adoption.”
Rainbow Families is spearheading a same-sex adoption campaign, however it’s unlikely any legislation would be introduced before the state election, with Victoria’s Brumby Government waiting for the release of a Victorian-led national review.
Lupton said he believed there was support within the party for change.
“I would see the logical conclusion of that [support] being legislation introduced into parliament dealing with this issue.”
Albert Park MP Martin Foley, who also supports same-sex adoption, said the Victorian working group reviewing possible reforms was likely to deliver its report to the National Ministerial Council at the end of the year.
“I think as long as it is in the best interests of the child, there should be no restrictions based on sexuality that prevent couples adopting children,” he said.
If same-sex adoption legislation currently before the NSW Parliament is passed, Foley said the outcome would impact Victoria.
“If the biggest state in the federation put a marker in the ground, that’s a benchmark, so I’d think in regards to national consistency … it would be a national benchmark,” he said.
Northcote MP Fiona Richardson has also indicated her personal support for same-sex adoption in an email.
However, Green MLC Sue Pennicuik has criticised the Brumby Government for taking its time on the issue, saying she is “mystified” same-sex adoption wasn’t a follow-up to the 2008 Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) reforms.
“The are listening to a loud, what I call discriminatory, Christian minority who don’t reflect the view of the population,” she said.
“I think it should have been tackled yesterday.”