Same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt children under proposed amendments to Queensland’s adoption laws.
Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman told reporters on Saturday the amendments will be introduced during the August sittings of parliament. It will include removing the offence and penalty for a breach of contact statement for adoptions prior to June 1991.
“I am proud we are removing one of the last discriminatory barriers that prevents LGBTI Queenslanders from being able to adopt a child,” Fentiman said.
“It is time Queensland joined other Australian states and territories to remove this archaic chapter from our adoption laws. As a society we do not tolerate discrimination.”
Fentiman said adoption provides a permanent family and legal identity for a small number of children in Queensland who cannot live with their birth family.
The move was warmly received by many advocates, including Lea Sanson and Julie Carrington, who said they had waited six years to adopt a girl they had cared for as foster parents.
Carrington said: “It’s a very emotional time for us. We actually get to be finally her mummies and we’re very proud and very excited.”
The reforms will bring Queensland into line with New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Victoria in allowing adoption by same-sex couples and singles.
South Australia is currently in the process of reviewing it’s adoption laws. The Northern Territory does not allow LGBT people to adopt children.
The proposed legislation will seek to include same-sex couples, single people, and couples undergoing fertility treatment such as IVF.