The Palaszczuk Government is overturning discriminatory laws to make it legal for same-sex couples to adopt children in Queensland.
Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman made the announcement at New Farm park today following a wide-ranging review of the state’s Adoption Act 2009.
“I am proud we are removing one of the last discriminatory barriers that prevents LGBTI Queenslanders from being able to adopt a child,” Ms 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.
“It is only fair that members of the LGBTI community have the same rights as any other Queenslander and that includes the right to raise a family with an adopted child.”
Ms Fentiman said the statutory review asked Queenslanders to share their experiences of adoption and how they thought the process could be improved.
“Queenslanders were overwhelmingly in support of the removal of additional barriers that prevent single people and couples undergoing fertility treatment, such as IVF, from adopting children,” Ms Fentiman said.
“I am proud to say we will widen the eligibility criteria to allow those groups to adopt.”
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.
Ms 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.
“Since the review began on September 17, more than 350 Queenslanders and organisations have had their say on the state’s adoption legislation,” Ms Fentiman said.
“This review has given us the opportunity to make sure the legislation is up to date and reflects the needs and experiences of children requiring adoption now and into the future.”
Ms Fentiman said the reforms will also remove the offence and penalty for a breach of contact statement for adoptions prior to June 1991, facilitate face-to-face contact during interim adoption orders between an adoptee and their birth family, improve access to information and streamline the step-parent application process.