Sunday, November 2, 2014

[Australia] Victoria - Opinion: Rodney Chiang-Cruise & Story: "Restriction on adoption fosters sadness for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex parents" by Miki Perkins

Victoria has a State Election around the corner and the adoption rights (or lack thereof!) are again an issue that is just simply becoming embarrassing in this State.  

In Victoria, same sex couples are prevented from accessing adoption.  Both the LNP and the ALP have had ample opportunities to address this over the years and have completely failed to do so. 

Of the two major parties, the LNP have started making muted sounds for reform via Clem Newton-Brown (Member for Prahran) but he is after all, a member of the LNP - the traditional enemy of same sex families.  The ALP on the other hand continue (yet again) to make the right noises on this issue - but they have completely failed to deliver on this in the past when they were in power.  Would they really be any different this time?

Now Gay Dads Australia takes no view on politics (and rightly so!) but this writer does.  I am a gay dad.  I am heavily vested in all issues relating to same-sex relationships and parental rights.

When it comes to voting day, neither the LNP or the ALP will secure my 1st, 2nd or even 3rd preference vote.   I plan to vote for a group of candidates/parties that are completely progressive on GLBTI issues, especially including same-sex adoption rights.  

When you go out to vote, I ask that you consider who is really serious about the URGENT reform in this area and vote accordingly.  

Again - I stress this is a personal view and not one of GDA.

Rodney Chiang-Cruise
Gay, Married (not legally recognised here), Father to 3 boys and tired of waiting in 2014 for equality.

In Essential Baby today there was a story entitled "Restriction on adoption fosters sadness for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex parents".  Please read and share widely.

At every Midsumma festival or Pride March there are stalls dedicated to promoting foster care to gay and lesbian families.

Welfare agency Berry Street – which gets funding from the state government – is just one organisation that pitches a tent to hand out brochures and encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) people to consider becoming foster parents.

Yet unlike heterosexual people, GLBTI foster parents are not allowed to adopt their foster children, even if they have legally become their permanent carers and looked after them for many years.

In fact, gay Victorians are not able to adopt at all, something that sets them apart from other jurisdictions such as NSW, ACT, Tasmania and Western Australia.

In the lead-up to the state election all parties have been quick to spruik their queer credentials to hold on to valuable marginal seats, such as Prahran.

Labor and the Greens have policies that support same-sex adoption. But there is no clear sign that the Coalition is ready to declare its position, despite vigorous support for GLBTI issues from Prahran MP Clem Newton-Brown, who has been part of the push to remove discrimination against people with HIV and expunge historical gay sex convictions.

At a doorstop interview in May, Premier Denis Napthine said he was "philosophically not against it" but was looking to get the best information available rather than making a decision "off the top of the head".

Advocates such as Carmen Parsons, from the Rainbow Families committee, say this issue should have been resolved in 2002, when the ALP first referred adoption law reform to the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

Continue Reading at Essential Baby

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