In light of the recent events highlighted by this article below, the issue of marriage equality arises as a result, more politically relevant matters such as the legalisation of same-sex adoption in Australia arises.
According to https://australia.isidewith.com/poll/2420518159, 74% of Australians believe LBGT couples should be allowed to adopt. However, currently, same-sex couples can only apply for adoption in Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. Whereas opposite sex couples can apply in any state. States such as Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory do not permit same-sex couples to adopt children. Furthermore, this demonstrates discrimination on the shores of a country built on diversity (Maxwell & Kelsey, 2014).
Even though there are many same-sex couples who already are the head of a family, whether by previous relationships or through assisted reproductive technology (ART) there is still a significant amount that would prefer to adopt Australian children and give them a chance at a better life(Maxwell & Kelsey, 2014). Federal laws acknowledge the relationship amongst an opposite-sex couple and the child conceived within ART; they do not recognise the relationship between a same-sex couple and their child conceived through ART (Ulrike,2012).
Legalising same sex couple adoption in all states would decrease the amount of children in foster homes (You-Ta, Church, Ophir, 2011). Statistics gathered from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that there were 43,009 Australian children living in out-of-home care as of 30th June 2014. (AIHW, 2015) This number has increased after 7.7/1,000 children at 30 June 2013 towards 8.1/1,000 children at 30 June 2014(“Diversity in Australian same-sex parented families,” 2016). Although there is an obvious answer to decreasing this number especially in states including Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory, there has been no legislative change (Ulrike,2012).
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Diversity in Australian same-sex parented families. (2016). Retrieved September 17, 2016, from Australian Institute of Family Studies, https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/same-sex-parented-families-australia/diversity-australian-same-sex-parented-families
Maxwell, m. E., & Kelsey, g. (2014). Second parent adoption: same-sex and the best interest of the child. Journal Of Health & Human Services Administration, 37(2), 260-299.
Ulrike. (2012, November 27). Exploring gay adoption. Retrieved September 17, 2016, from GNN Gay News Network, http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/feature/exploring-gay-adoption-9810.html
You-Ta, C., Church, R., & Ophir, R. (2011). Taking Sides: The Interactive Influences of Institutional Mechanisms on the Adoption of Same-Sex Partner Health Benefits by Fortune 500 Corporations, 1990-2003. Organization Science, 22(1), 190-209.