Thursday, 21st March 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is urging the Tasmanian government to reject changes to adoption laws in the state that would deny children the right to be raised by a mother and father.

ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the tabling of changes to the Adoption Act in Parliament today by Children’s Minister Michelle O’Byrne would allow unmarried and same-sex couples to adopt children given up by their biological parents.

Existing laws allow only married couples to adopt, and same-sex couples have the right only to adopt a relative or stepchild and Mr Brown said it is the duty of governments to protect the rights of children.

“All things being equal, children have the right to both a mother and a father. We know that through tragedy or desertion this is not always possible but adoption is one area where governments can restore this important value for the benefit of children,” Mr Brown said.

“There is no logical reason to suggest that changing the current Adoption Act is needed when the needs of children have not changed and when there are so few adoptions anyway. Adoption is about the needs of these children, not adults.

“Statistics show that in 2011, there were only two Australian children surrendered for ‘unknown’ adoptions and only four intercountry adoptions in the same period,” he said.

Mr Brown said a change to adoption legislation would be nonsensical, as it would completely deny the importance of motherhood and fatherhood.

“Fathers and mothers parent differently from one another, and providing that diversity in a child’s upbringing is important for their development,” he said.