The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) is incredibly disappointed with the NSW Government’s refusal to act to remove discrimination against same-sex couples in the Adoption Act.

The Government claims that the best interests of children is its primary concern. It concedes that same-sex parents and foster carers are capable of providing loving and stable homes for children and agrees that adoption provides permanence, stability and security which it claims is so important for children.

Despite the Inquiry’s recommendations, it still refuses to amend adoption laws and ultimately refuses to act in the best interests of the child.

In NSW, same-sex couples are recognised in all other family-related legislation applying to families, except adoption. The Adoption Act is the last piece of legislation that openly discriminates against same-sex couples in NSW.

Government inaction means foster children will continue to have no access to an enduring mechanism for formally recognising their long-term same-sex foster families. It also means that some same-sex step-parents and co-parents will continue to face legal invisibility and a denial of their roles as parents. Lesbians and gay men will continue to face an inconsistent system which accepts their application for adoption assessment as individuals but not as couples.

Same-sex couple adoption is allowed in the ACT, Western Australia and, to a lesser extent, Tasmania. Same-sex adoption is also allowed in a number of countries, including Israel, South Africa and Spain.

The GLRL is calling for the immediate removal of discrimination against same-sex couples and their children from NSW adoption laws because while no person has the right to adopt, same-sex couples should be assessed, like all other couples and individuals, according to objective criteria on their individual capacity to provide a loving and stable home to a child. A person’s sexual orientation is not a meaningful indicator of a person’s ability to parent a child.

Take action now by visiting www.glrl.org.au and using our simple form to send a personalised email to Premier Kristina Keneally, Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt and Minister for Community Services Linda Burney, demanding the NSW Government act now to promote the best interests of children by removing discrimination against same-sex couples in NSW adoption law.

No action on adoption equality is simply unacceptable.

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