The NSW Government has failed to release a report on the need for same-sex adoption laws that was legally required by Parliament two years ago.
When the last adoption reforms were passed in 2000 the Parliament demanded a review be undertaken no later than 2005 and a report be produced no later than March 2006.
A number of issues related to this report were referred by the former Minister [of Community Services, Reba Meagher] to the Ministerial Advisory Committee for further consideration and advice by July 2007. The Ministerial Advisory Committee’s advice to the Minister is currently being considered, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Services (DoCS) told Sydney Star Observer earlier this year.
This week a spokesman for Kevin Greene, who replaced Meagher in April last year, said the advice was still being considered but would not say when the 2006 report would be released.
DoCS advised SSO the report and 1,800 pages of supplementary material would be exempt from Freedom of Information laws because it contained opinion, advice or recommendation.
The Government’s proposed same-sex parenting reforms include step-parent adoption by the female partner of the child’s mother. Joint adoption of an unknown child by male or female couples is expressly prohibited and won’t change under the reforms.
During the announcement Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said same-sex adoption was more complex than the current proposals and was being addressed through the Ministerial Council on Health and Community Services as part of a discussion on nationally consistent surrogacy laws.
A spokesman for the Ministerial Council confirmed the matter had been referred but said it could take many months before being discussed.