Review to permit adoption by same sex couples under Victorian Law

Submissions close Monday 23 March 2015 at 5pm.

Please read the Review terms of Reference BEFORE you write a submission.

WHY IS THERE A REVIEW? 

As many of you know, the rights and best interests of children living in Victoria are not being upheld due to a lack of adoption law reform.

Same sex couples can not adopt in Victoria but are able to adopt in NSW, WA, Tasmania and the ACT.

The Victorian government are holding a review into same sex adoption. They want to collect information on HOW they can reform adoption in Victoria – what legislation needs to change, what do other states do and how to best change the law so no child misses out.

The Review only needs to look at the HOW because, after over a decade of advocacy, groups like Rainbow Families Council and the Victoria Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby have been successful in changing the policy of the ALP and so we do not have to convince this current government about the reasons WHY we need adoption to be an option in Victoria.

HOW DO I WRITE A SUBMISSION?

A submission does not have to be long or technical.

You do not need to be a lawyer to write a submission.

You can just send in a SHORT EMAIL stating:

  1. That you think it is a really good idea for the state government to change the adoption law in Victoria.
  2. Explain why adoption law reform is important to you, to your family or to your friends.
  3. What sort of law reform would you like to see introduced: such as allowing step-parent or second parent adoption, allowing children on permanent care order to be adopted. You might have an example from a personal experience (be careful about using real names)
  4. If you are aware of good adoption practices in other countries or around Australia you could let the Reviewer know.

Add your name and address but indicate if you do or do not want to make your submission public.

Remember to make it clear if you DO want your submission to be confidential – see more details below.

MAKING YOUR SUBMISSIONS CONFIDENTIAL 

When the Same Sex Adoption Review was first announced by the Victorian government in late February, there was no information provided on the Review website about whether submissions would be either confidential or made public.

Given this lack of clarity we asked the Minister’s office to confirm how information provided in submissions would be used and if individuals or families who wrote submissions could or would be identified publically – we felt this was incredibly important to protect the privacy and vulnerability of any families who wished to write a personal submission. As such we had not actively promoted nor sought personal submissions from the community until this was clarified.

So you can now write a CONFIDENTIAL submission to the Same Sex Adoption Review and lodge it by following the instructions on the Department of Premier and Cabinet website.

The Review website now states:

“We will treat all submissions as confidential, unless you specifically indicate that the submission can be made public by the reviewer.
•Confidential submissions are not made available to the public. Confidential submissions are considered by the reviewer but they are not referred to in the final reports as a source of information or opinion other than in exceptional circumstances.
•If you indicate a submission can be made public, the reviewer may refer to it in reports and upload it to the review website. Your name may also be listed in reports. Private addresses and contact details will be removed from submissions if they are made public.”

ADOPTION EQUALITY UPDATE

Adoption Equality is the name of the campaign being jointly coordinated by Rainbow Families Council and the Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby.

Over the past few weeks Adoption Equality have been meeting with and talking to many children’s rights, community, legal and social justice organisations across Victoria encouraging them to prepare submissions to the Same Sex Adoption Review. We are hopeful that many of these organisations will and we welcome their interest and support.

Your personal family stories will be very useful once a Bill is drafted and when we start visiting our local state government politicians to call  for their support to vote on the Bill – stay tuned for more on this stage of the Adoption Equality campaign in the coming months.

Like, share and follow the ADOPTION EQUALITY campaign here:

Facebook: Adoption Equality Victoria 

Twitter: @AdoptionEqualiT

REMEMBER: Submissions are due on Monday 23 March 2015 at 5pm