Anti-gay-marriage lobby group Family First NZ are objecting to same-sex couples being able to adopt children.
The group released a statement today claiming that changes to adoption laws 'are being sneaked in under the radar'.
'Significant changes to adoption laws should not happen without appropriate debate and consideration,' said Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
'Many people are unaware that changes to the Marriage Act will automatically confer rights to same sex couples to adopt... The two most loving and capable women in the world simply cannot provide a daddy - and two men cannot provide a mum.'
Louisa Wall, the Labour MP who initiated the same-sex marriage bill currently before parliament, said in her submission to the select committee inquiry into the issue that gay people can already adopt children - but gay couples cannot.
'An individual homosexual is eligible for consideration as an adoptive parent,' said Wall. 'What is not fair is that a homosexual couple cannot adopt jointly purely because they are not married and a joint adoption application can only be made by "spouses" - a state only defined and conferred by marriage. This anomaly runs contrary to the intention of creating strong and stable families.'
Auckland family lawyer Norman Elliott wrote a column in the New Zealand Herald today agreeing with McCoskie that there had not been 'any real public debate about whether the Adoption Act should be changed to allow same-sex adoption'.
Earlier this month a Cambridge University study showed that children adopted by gay couples are thriving. ‘The anxieties about the potentially negative effects for children of being placed with gay fathers seem to be, from our study, unfounded,’ said Professor Susan Golombok, director of the university's Centre for Family Research.
The second reading of the bill proposing to legalize same-sex marriage in New Zealand is scheduled for this Wednesday (13 March).