Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Queensland: To change adoption laws, but same sex couples need not apply

The Queensland Government has introduced today the Adoption Bill into the Queensland Parliament, to replace the antiquated Adoption of Children Act 1964. The Minister responsible, Margaret Keech, said about the Bill:
  • it was "delivering fair laws to those people affected by adoption"
  • it reflected "contemporary community standards"
  • "Eligibility to lodge expressions of interest to adopt will be extended from married couples to de facto couples who have been in a relationship for at least two years."
  • was "in line with the Bligh government’s vision for a fairer Queensland"
  • by now requiring adoption orders to be made by a court, "provides for this and brings Queensland into line with every other Australian jurisdiction".
  • "The current objective is to identify the best possible prospective adoptive families to meet the needs of the small number of children who require adoptive parents."
  • "Finally, in line with the Bligh Government’s vision for a fairer Queensland,I am proud this Bill is a very progressive piece of new legislation which will bring Queensland’s adoption practice in line with international best practice." (emphasis added)

The Bill will remove the discrimination that exists in the 1964 Act against heterosexual de facto couples, but not against same sex couples.

Just so that it is clear, the Bill is expressed to override the Anti-Discrimination Act. The only obvious reason for this is so that same sex couples can be discriminated against.
This approach is different to that in places such as Western Australia and the ACT where same sex couples can adopt.

For the full speech by the Minister, click here[PDF] .
For the Bill, click here.

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