Well I’ve been a little absent as of late, so I’m returning with some great news for same-sex couples in Queensland today!
Queensland’s Palaszczuk Labor Government has continued to deliver on its pre-election promises, this time taking aim at the state’s outdated adoption laws.
Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman announced today that the state’s same-sex couples will soon be able to adopt children following a review of Queensland’s Adoption Act 2009, that will see various discriminatory laws against same-sex couples being overturned.
“I am proud we are removing one of the last discriminatory barriers that prevents LGBTI Queenslanders from being able to adopt a child,” said Fentiman.
“It is time Queensland joined other Australian states and territories to remove this archaic chapter from our adoption laws. As a society we do not tolerate discrimination.”
The reforms will see Queensland brought into line with New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, which allow adoption of children by same-sex couples and single people.
A review of Queensland’s adoption laws began last September and asked more than 350 Queenslanders to share their experiences of adoption and how they thought the process could be improved.
“Queenslanders were overwhelmingly in support of the removal of additional barriers that prevent single people and couples undergoing fertility treatment, such as IVF, from adopting children,” Fentiman explains.
“This review has given us the opportunity to make sure the legislation is up to date and reflects the needs and experiences of children requiring adoption now and into the future.”
These reforms will include the removal of the offence and penalty for a breach of contact statement for adoptions prior to June 1991, the facilitation of face-to-face contact during interim adoption orders between an adoptee and their birth family, improved access to information, and a streamlining of the step-parent application process.
While same-sex Queenslanders may be celebrating the news, as per usual the Australian Christian Lobby has spoken out with a typically close-minded reaction. Would we expect anything less?
The ACL Queensland spokesperson Wendy Francis writes on the Australian Christian Lobby website that ‘a new discrimination against children’ is being created.
“This is particularly worrying because many of these children have already been dealt a blow in life,” she says. “They are, through no fault of their own, without biological parents, and are in need of a new permanent family. To deny them a mother’s love, or a father’s care, is compounding their loss.”
Francis then proceeds to take aim at the ‘Safe Schools’ program and the supposed “Rainbow ideology” of the LGBTI community, saying, “Whether it is the so-called ‘Safe Schools’ program that teaches children their gender is fluid or the push for same-sex marriage which says mums and dads don’t matter to children, rainbow ideology is a great social experiment which should be resisted.
“We can respect gay people and their relationships without causing children to miss out on their basic human rights.”
Typical reaction of the Australian Christian Lobby, but at least they’re consistent right?
As the old saying goes, there’s always someone determined to “rain on your parade”, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that afterwards the rainbow always shines brighter.