Same sex couples engaged in long-term foster care will be one of the many groups of Australians to benefit from the proposed changes to QLD adoption laws according to Gay Dads Australia Co-moderator, Rodney Chiang-Cruise.
The proposed changes were announced last week by Communities Minister, Shannon Fentiman.
“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.
“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.”
Mr Chiang-Cruise stated the proposed laws will not only benefit same sex couples seeking to adopt, but also same sex foster parents who wish to adopt their foster children.
“They may be able to convert those long term foster care arrangements into parentage by adoption, giving their kids some certainty over their relationships to those foster parents,” he said.
He states gay men will now also be eligible for ‘unknown’ or ‘stranger’ adoption.
“If there is a child born and the parents relinquish it for adoption for whatever reason that child is now as it currently stands eligible to be adopted by a married heterosexual couple.”
“The law will change to allow it to be a heterosexual couple, a same sex couple and a single person.”
While this is still seen as a positive step forward, there is only a handful of children in Queensland fall into the category.
“The reality is that there is not that many kids available for adoption in that situation.”
“There’s only a couple of dozen kids and there would be tens of thousands of hopeful parents on waiting lists to adopt.”
It’s not a fix for everybody, according to Mr Chiang-Cruise, but there are those who can benefit from it, such as those in long term foster care.
“It will give our family the recognition and in many cases the legal recognition that needs to exist that we have currently been denied.”
“The adoption law changes in Queensland will have a wonderful effect on families who can access them. I think it is a very positive step forward.”