Victorian Government's same-sex adoption laws welcomed by community and legal groups

The announcement by Victorian Minister for Equality Martin Foley that the Government will this week introduce laws to remove discrimination faced by same-sex couples in the area of adoption has been welcomed by community and legal groups.

Representing Victoria’s LGBTIQ families, Rainbow Families Council welcomed the reforms and the positive impact the changes, if passed by Parliament, would have on hundreds of Victorian families headed by LGBTIQ parents. 

“We are really pleased to see the state government introduce this long-awaited adoption law reform. For many children, these adoption reforms will finally allow the law to catch up with the reality of their lives and ensure that the parents who love and nurture them are legally recognised,” said Rainbow Families Council Co-Convenor Amelia Bassett. 

“The impact these reforms will have on the day-to-day lives of these families can not be underestimated – from enrolling at school, accessing health care, travelling overseas. Here’s hoping these families receive an early Christmas present.” 

The Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby welcomed the Government’s move to implement its election commitment to deliver equality in adoption for same-sex couples and noted these changes would address the final recommendations of the 2007 Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report and the 2015 Adoption Act Review by Eamonn Moran QC. 

“After over a decade of campaigning and multiple inquiries and reviews, we congratulate the Andrews Government for announcing their bill will be introduced this week and thank them for removing the last piece of Victorian legislation that discriminates against same-sex couples,” said VGLRL Co-Convenor Sean Mulcahy. 

The amendments to the Adoption Act 1984 and the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 will ensure that two people, regardless of their sex or gender identity, may apply to adopt a child and to have their application assessed where it is in the best interests of the child for that adoption to occur. The Government’s announcement will also ensure that both faith-based and secular adoption agencies provide the same service to prospective parents. 

The Human Rights Law Centre welcomed the announcement that all service providers would deliver adoption services, regardless of whether they were faith based or secular and noted that it would consider the legislation when released. 

“These amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 will ensure that each individual adoption case will now consider all options available and determine the best interest of that specific child, no matter which agency is handling the adoption case. It’s important that best interest of the child continues to be the paramount concern,” said HRLC Director of Advocacy Anna Brown. 

For further information or comments, please contact: 
Amelia Bassett, Rainbow Families Council Co-Convenor, 0423 500 744 
Sean Mulcahy, Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby Co-Convenor 0400 566 844