Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Qld: Enlightening comments on the Adoption Bill

The Adoption Bill was debated again in the Queensland Parliament yesterday.

Here are some enlightening comments made by MP's demonstrating their views, remembering that the Adoption Bill actively discriminates against same sex couples:

Grace Grace: I have had many representations in relation to the Adoption Bill, particularly from the LGBT communities in my electorate. I must admit that they have put forward some very strong cases about their ability to adopt. We have had some very good discussions, and I very much thank them for coming to see me.

I respectfully say that I fully understand their views and all of the issues that they raised.However, this bill does not provide for the ability for LGBT community members to adopt.

When I spoke to them, what I saw to be more important to them was the ability to have co-parenting rights. Can I say how much I applaud the statements made in this House today in regard to what will be changes to the surrogacy law which will give same-sex couples the ability to engage in altruistic surrogacy and also implement a system of co-parenting rights. I fully support them. I would like to see the detail of that legislation.

I welcome this for the LGBT communities that are a big part of my constituency. I think they deserve it. I think the children also deserve to have the same rights as other children in our society.

I also thank PFLAG, the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays support group, and in particular the president, Shelley Argent OAM, who just this week wrote about same-sex co-parenting rights. I will be very happy to respond to that letter to let them know what we as a government intend to do to give them those co-parenting rights

......................

Gibson (LNP): I find it interesting to note that today we had the announcement in the parliament that altruistic surrogacy laws will be introduced. So the question could rightly be asked: should homosexuals not have the right to children through adoption? Potentially we will be debating whether homosexual couples have the right to have children through altruistic surrogacy.

So the question begs asking: why are we saying to same-sex couples that we are not going to extend them that right yet it has been flagged that we will extend them the right to altruistic surrogacy?

Ms Grace: There is a big difference.

Mr GIBSON: Why is there a big difference?

Ms Grace interjected.

Mr GIBSON: I want to touch on the big difference. In my view, the big difference is the way in which we regard children. No-one has the right to a child. The argument can be put forward that it may be a form of discrimination to deny homosexuals access to adoption. Can they not be just as effective and loving parents as married heterosexual couples? I am sure that within them they have the desire to provide the very best environment for children, yet this bill will deny them that right. Why does this bill do that? It comes back to a fundamental view that the best arrangement for a child to be brought up in our society is with a father and a mother.No-one can claim the right to a child. Children are not property to be owned. Even heterosexual parents do not have a right to a child. Rather, parents, regardless of their circumstances, are merely custodians of those children. It is a sacred and blessed privilege that is presented to us to be parents.No-one can claim the right to a child any more than a man can claim the right to a woman or a person can claim the right to a slave. No-one has the right to another person. Discrimination is based on the idea that someone’s rights are being violated. If children are not property and, therefore, no-one has the right to a child, then it cannot be claimed that homosexuals are being discriminated against by not having access to children, whether that be by adoption or by altruistic surrogacy. These are important principles upon which our society is based and which we must understand and hold sacred in this house of parliament....

Ms Darling: I also thank the member for Albert, who, when she was the minister, put in a lot of work, research and heartfelt time listening to people with regard to adoption reform.

Ms Grace: She did a great job.

Ms DARLING: A brilliant job. I also thank the current minister for bringing this bill into the parliament. I heartily support the bill. ...........

Ms Cunningham: There has been reference in this chamber to same-sex couples adopting children. At the risk of raising the ire of those members who hold a differing view to me, I certainly do not support same-sex couples receiving adoptive children or indeed children through other processes. Quite apart from my own faith values—and that is certainly the basis upon which I make that comment—couples who are infertile have at least a natural prospect of issue; same-sex couples do not. I believe that that is a significant consideration and one that I certainly place a strong emphasis on.

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