GAY couples in Tasmania will be able to legally adopt children after the Upper House passed Adoption Act amendments.
Minister for Children Michelle O’Byrne said the law would provide greater opportunities for adoptive children to grow up in supportive and loving households.
“The amendments remove barriers which would prevent both heterosexual and same-sex couples who are in registered significant relationships being able to apply to adopt unknown children,” Ms O’Byrne said.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome hailed it a proud day for Tasmania.
“We have removed the very last vestige of discrimination against same-sex couples in existing state law,” Mr Croome said.
“It will allow a child currently being fostered by a same-sex couple to be adopted by their foster parents when it is in that child’s best interest.”
He said the move also removed legally entrenched prejudice against all Tasmanian same-sex couples who were bringing up children.
But Save Marriage Coalition spokesman Guy Barnett said the Bill would relegate some children to a life without mothers or a life without fathers.
“This is a sad day for Tasmanian children,” said Mr Barnett, who is a Liberal Lyons candidate.
“The legislation is adult rather than child focused.”
He said the intentional creation of motherless or fatherless children was a backward step.
“Denying an ‘unknown’ child the right to either a mum or a dad is contrary to their best interests and this new law unfairly discriminates against this group of motherless or fatherless children,” Mr Barnett said.
He said the Bill could be contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which refers to the importance of motherhood.
Stay Informed. It’s simple, free & convenient!