Media release

Plans by the Keneally Government to exempt faith-based adoption agencies from Clover Moore’s same-sex adoption bill are welcome but if the State Government is truly concerned about the best interests of children it should completely withdraw support for the bill, the Australian Christian Lobby’s NSW Director, David Hutt, said today.

“ACL is glad to see the Keneally Government has started listening to the concerns of Anglicare and CatholiCare. As two of only three non-government adoption agencies accredited in NSW, the Government should value their expertise, follow their advice and reject the bill,” Mr Hutt said.

Mr Hutt said the NSW Government has a duty to act in the best interests of the child and ensure that all children adopted out are not denied the opportunity to have a mother and a father.

“The community at large would not be comfortable with adopted children being denied this benefit.

“This should not be seen as a gay rights issue but as being about children’s rights,” he said. “All things being equal, children have the right to both a mother and a father. We know that through circumstance and tragedy this is not always possible but adoption is one area where we can uphold this important value for the benefit of children.

“A raft of changes to Federal and State laws in recent years have dealt with discrimination affecting children in same-sex families and this issue should not be considered a reason to introduce gay adoption. If there are any remaining areas of concern these should be looked at separately from adoption laws.”

“Parliament has only nine sitting weeks before the March 2011 election to sort out NSW’s myriad transport and infrastructure problems. The people of NSW would be expecting the Government to focus on these problems rather than on radical social engineering,” Mr Hutt said.

“Community Services Minister Linda Burney made the right call earlier this year when she said there was insufficient public support for same-sex adoption. The Government should stick to its guns and not be pressured by a selfish gay and lesbian rights lobby that would put the interests of a very small minority ahead of the rights of children.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979