For release: Sunday February 8, 2015

The Australian Christian Lobby has called on the Victorian government to keep faith with its duty to act in the best interests of the child by protecting children’s right to the diversity of mother and father parenting, wherever possible.

ACL Victorian Director Dan Flynn saidplacing adoptive children with both a mother and a father accorded with longstanding adoption practice in the best interests of the child.

“Men and women complement each other in their parenting roles to the benefit of children,” Mr Flynn said.

“The government should not enact legislation that ignores the overwhelming body of research that shows both a mother and father is important to optimising a child’s development.

“Children find themselves motherless or fatherless through circumstances beyond their control. They should not find themselves without a mother and father because of government policy.”

Mr Flynn also expressed concern that any proposed changes to adoption laws may override the long-standing right of birth parents, who are giving up their child for adoption, to nominate the family arrangements into which their child is placed.

Mr Flynn also raised concerns about the implications for adoption agencies who were committed to placing children with a mother and father as a matter of policy.

“In some parts of the world, where adoption has been opened to same-sex couples, these agencies have been forced to close their doors.

“Victorians would not want to see agencies forced to shut simply because they believed in the right of a child to both a mother and a father,” Mr Flynn said.