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Why adoption reform is needed

Rainbow Families Council believes that same sex couples and single people should have access to adoption in Victoria. The Council agrees that “…the primary purpose of adoption is to provide a stable family for a child in need, rather than to meet the need or desire of an adult for a child. {Victorian Law Reform Commission Access to Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption Final Report 2007 }

There is a wide diversity of legitimate family structures in Australian society, including many same-sex and single-parented families. Rainbow Families Council is campaigning for access to adoption because:

  • The rights and best interests of children are primary, and do not compete with the rights of same-sex and single parents or prospective parents
  • The best interests of children are upheld when discrimination against same-sex couples in adoption is removed
  • The primary purpose of adoption is to provide a stable family for a child in need, rather than to meet the need or desire of an adult for a child
  • Children have the right to equality under the law, whatever the structure of their family, sexual orientation or gender of their parents, foster or permanent carers, or the method of their conception
  • All children living in rainbow families should enjoy the same legal protection for their family relationships as their siblings, regardless of the time, place or method of their conception including children on permanent care orders living in families.
  • All children have the right to know and be cared for by their parents, as recognised by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention does not define nor gender the term ‘parents’), and, especially in the case of adopted children, to have information about their biological origins.
  • All children have the right to certainty about the legal status of their families, including parents, siblings, donors and extended family, and to protection of their family relationships in particular within their foster/permanent care families
  • Equality under the law is an important step towards greater social acceptance and equality. Both are essential to the wellbeing of all children, including children of rainbow families.

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We are a volunteer community organisation based in Victoria, Australia. We support and promote equality for ‘rainbow’ families (parents and prospective parents who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, transgender or intersex, and their children).