Media Release: Thursday, July 9, 2009

The right of a child to be given every chance to have a mother and a father suffered a further blow yesterday with a NSW Parliamentary committee recommending in favour of same-sex adoption.

“Some children for various reasons outside their control - often because of tragedy or relationship breakdown - grow up without a mother or a father,” Australian Christian Lobby Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said.

“But where the State needs to make public policy for kids, it is incumbent on the State to ensure the right of a child to the love of both a mother and a father is provided.”

Mr Shelton said this ideal was backed up in social science.

“Sadly the lifestyle choices of some adults are being elevated in public policy above the human rights and best interests of children.”

Mr Shelton said the NSW Upper House Law and Justice Committee’s recommendation that faith-based adoption agencies be granted an exemption from anti-discrimination laws allowing them not to place children with same-sex couples was welcome.  However, a further recommendation forcing them to refer same-sex couples to another agency that would place children with same-sex couples trampled on the religious freedom of such agencies to refrain from participating in something that offended their religious beliefs and their understanding of social science.

Mr Shelton said this was further evidence of a growing intolerance towards religious belief and practice. This was also evidenced in Victorian abortion laws passed last year which forced doctors and nurses who conscientiously object to refer women to practitioners who would terminate the life of an unborn baby.

Australia’s high abortion rate meant there were very few children available to the massive queue of heterosexual couples waiting to adopt.

“Opening adoption to same-sex couples would make adoption even more difficult for these couples,” Mr Shelton said.

For more information contact Lyle Shelton