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South Australia Government plans review of adoption laws for same-sex couples

South Australia is one of the few regions of Australia where gay couples cannot adopt, but that could change following a planned public consultation on its adoption laws
Shaun and Blue with sons Josh and Dylan
Change.org

The State Government of South Australia is planning a long-awaited review of its adoption laws, which will include looking at whether same-sex couples and singles will be able to adopt.

Currently, South Australia does not allow either same-sex couples or single people to adopt.

This is in contrast to most other parts of Australia: New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania all allow adoption by gay couples and LGBT individuals, as well as same-sex step-parent adoption.

Victoria and Queensland are currently reviewing their bans on adoption by same-sex couples, but allow adoption by LGBT individuals.

The SA State Government first promised to review its adoption laws – which have remained largely unchanged since 1988 – two years ago.

Minister Jennifer Rankine, Minister for Education and Child Development, will announce the formation of a review committee, which will release a discussion paper in November for public consultation. Following public consultation, the committee is then expected to report to Government in June 2015.

“Obviously this is a very emotive issue and careful consideration and consultation needs to be undertaken if this is to be changed,” she said.

In April, a gay couple that had moved to South Australia, with their two adopted children, began a petition calling for a change in South Australia’s laws. Shaun Douglas-Galley and his partner, Blue, adopted their two sons [pictured above] in the UK before relocating.

‘We feel blessed to now be living in South Australia, one of the most beautiful parts of the world, but saddened by the fact that our family is not recognised, not valued, and not equal in the eyes of the law, simply because we are a same sex couple.’

‘Saddened that there are many children, at this very moment, that need love, stability and a chance at a better future, and the families that could adopt them and give these very things are tied up in red tape, or excluded because of their sexuality, or status as a same sex couple.’

The petition – which can be found here – has gained over 3,000 signatures.


 

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