NEW Queensland legislation allowing same-sex couples to adopt, denies the rights of the child, according to opponents including Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
“It represents another attempt to say there is no difference between heterosexual marriage and same-sex partnerships or marriage, and raises all sorts of questions about the rights of the child,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“The fundamental problem is that this child is being denied the child’s right to have a father and a mother.
“Now, we know that not every child has a father and a mother, but to deny even that possibility to a child is not just to the child.”
The Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 passed Queensland Parliament on November 3, with the laws also allowing singles and people undergoing fertility treatment to adopt. The Opposition voted against specific sections of the bill aimed at expanding the eligibility criteria for adoption to single people and same-sex couples.
Comunities Minister Shannon Fentiman (pictured) described the legislation as “a matter of removing unfair discrimination from the Queensland statute books”.
“Expanding the eligibility criteria provides a wider and richer pool of people that we can ultimately find the right home for each child who requires adoption,” she said.
Shadow Communities Minister Ros Bates said Labor had not demonstrated the need to expand the number of eligible adoptive parents. She said prospective parents were waiting years to adopt children after getting on the waiting list, meaning there weren’t enough children to meet adoption demand.
“At last count there were 22 local adoptions in 2015-16, nine local and 13 step-parents,” she said.
Australian Family Association spokesman Alan Baker said where children had lost their biological parents, the state had an obligation to provide the next best family structure for the child, which was a stable home provided by a man and a woman in a loving, committed marriage.
“Adults do not have a right to be parents, but children do have the right to have both a mother and father, particularly where they already have been traumatised by the loss of their biological parents,” Mr Baker said.
He described same-sex parenting as a big social experiment.
By Mark Bowling