The Australian Christian Lobby has urged South Australian Upper House parliamentarians to reject a bill that intentionally removes the right of children to know the love and care of a mother and father. 

Before the Legislative Council breaks for the year, it is expected to consider whether same-sex couples can adopt, after the legislation passed the Lower House Tuesday evening.

ACL Acting South Australian Director Dan Flynn said it was unconscionable that parliamentarians prioritised the desires of gay adults over the right of an adopted child to have a mother and father.

“Adoption has always been about the welfare of children who, for reasons not of their own making, are in need of the care of a family including a mother and a father,” Mr Flynn said.

“The Labor Government has turned this on its head and is making it about the rights of adults to have a child,” he said.

“Yet, according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child there are no rights to have a child.” 

On adoption, the UN Convention says, “When children are adopted the first concern must be what is best for them”. 

The Convention goes on to say, “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”.

“What happened last night in the Lower House, where members voted to deny children a mum and a dad, is unjust and convenes international conventions,” 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.