The Australian Christian Lobby has urged South Australian MPs to uphold children’s rights to a mother and father by voting against the government’s same-sex adoption legislation this week.

ACL Acting South Australian Director, Dan Flynn, called on all parliamentarians to put the interests of children first in this week’s debate on adoption for same-sex couples which is being proposed in the Adoption (Review) Amendment Bill 2016.

“A child’s need for the complementary nature of a mother and father should be put ahead of the desires of gay adults,” Mr Flynn said.

“MPs have a conscience vote in considering any changes to the law that would allow same-sex adoption and extends single person adoption beyond “special circumstances”.

“The Independent South Australia Adoption Reviewer, Professor Lorna Hallahan, has highlighted that many adoptees have been hurt by the decisions made by adults and suffered negative impacts on their identity,” Mr Flynn said.

Mr Flynn said the Independent Reviewer was correct to point out that ‘Adoption does not exist primarily for family formation, so the selection of adoptive parents cannot be based on the desire of some people to have children. It must be based on a profound understanding of the rights, needs, best interests and welfare of the child or children’.

“In the light of this starting point, it was insightful of Martin Hamilton-Smith MP to point out, in Parliament, that a child adopted to a same-sex couple might later reflect; ‘I’m really sorry that the system did that to me because I would like to have started from the baseline of having a mother and father, male and female’,” Mr Flynn said.

Mr Flynn said there was no shortage of couples who were waiting for an adopted baby, so there was no need to extend the availability to same-sex couples.

“In 2013-14, South Australia only had 15 adoptions and a long waiting list of men and women couples so there is no reason for the law to change to abolish the requirement for there to be gender diversity in the parenting of orphans,” Mr Flynn said.

ACL appeared before Professor Hallahan in 2015, as part of the South Australian adoption review, submitting evidence establishing that the best interests of children are met by ensuring, wherever possible, that they are raised by a mother and father.