A mass writing campaign has been launched to protest the NSW Government’s inaction over same-sex adoption reform.
The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has called on people to send personalised letters to Premier Kristina Keneally, Community Services Minister Linda Burney and their local MP, urging them to act on their promises to “protect the best interests of children”.
The Government announced three weeks ago it would not follow through on recommendations made by its own Senate Committee to allow same-sex adoption.
Burney noted in her announcement “that permanency planning is an essential aspect of effective out-of-home care and the ability for children to be adopted by their carers is an important aspect of permanency planning”.
The Lobby and rainbow parents involved with the inquiry say inaction over adoption reform has left their children without the security of having two legally recognised parents.
“My daughter wants both of her parents to be legally recognised,” gay-parenting rights activist and mother of one Vicki Harding said. “That would give her validity in a world where everyone’s got to have two parents.
“It would give certainty when the unexpected happened — if someone ended up in hospital or someone died, we’d have more certainty.
“Older children, who are aware of the way government works, wonder what the problem is; why do people not think it’s good to have two mothers? Or that it’s not a proper family.”
Adding further weight to the argument for same-sex adoption rights is new research from the USA showing parental gender had no bearing on the development of children.
Researchers from New York University last week published their comprehensive piece, ‘Does the Gender of Parents Matter?’, in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Having looked at over 90 studies comparing gay and lesbian parents to heterosexual ones, they concluded there were no demonstrable shortcomings for children of same-sex parents.
“Research consistently has demonstrated that despite prejudice and discrimination, children raised by lesbians develop as well as their peers,” researchers Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblar concluded.
“Across the standard panoply of measures, studies find far more similarities than differences among children with lesbian and heterosexual parents, and the rare differences mainly favor the former.”
The pair noted a lack of research including gay fathers but focusing predominantly on lesbian mums, they found few disadvantages for the children.