With debate on a same-sex adoption bill due to begin in the NSW Parliament this afternoon, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called on NSW MPs to act in the best interests of children and vote against the legislation.

ACL NSW Director David Hutt said that efforts are being made to portray the legislation as being entirely about ‘known adoptions’ when in actual fact the bill clearly allows for ‘stranger adoptions’ where the same-sex couple has no prior relationship with the child.

“Given the large numbers of heterosexual parents waiting years to adopt a child, there is no justification for changing the law to place adopted children in the homes of same-sex couples they don’t even know,” Mr Hutt said.

“We urge Lower House politicians to make a true conscience vote on the bill – not based on party loyalties – and to carefully consider whether denying a child in ‘stranger’ adoption the benefit of having both a mother and a father is really putting that child’s best interests first.

“The debate about same-sex adoption is not a gay rights issue. This is about children’s rights – specifically the right of an adopted child to be placed in a home with both a mother and a father,” Mr Hutt said.

“Section 8 of the Adoption Act 2000 clearly states that no adult has the right to adopt a child. Parliamentarians need to get beyond attempts by the gay lobby to frame this as a rights issue and start focussing on what this will mean for children in the future.

“Sadly, adopted children can often face emotional struggles. If passed, this bill will allow children to be adopted out to two mums or two dads and make them miss out on the love and role modelling that both a mum and a dad can provide.”

Mr Hutt said that in the case of same-sex couples wanting to adopt children already living with them, most of their concerns about providing parental care can be effectively dealt with through a parenting order made by the Family Court. Parenting orders are a mechanism that recognises the relationship between a child and an adult and give the adult parental responsibility for the child.

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