Home > Uncategorized > Brisbane Times – “Gay parents welcomed. Just not for adoption” by Conal Hanna

Brisbane Times – “Gay parents welcomed. Just not for adoption” by Conal Hanna

Anna Bligh and her Labor Government in Queensland once again show what they really believe about equality.  They don’t believe in it.  They are essentially no different than the homophobic opposition parties.  This makes Anna Bligh the worst person of the week.

Katherine Eastaughffe (left) and Una Harkin with son Daniel Eastaughffe.

Katherine Eastaughffe and Una Harkin are lesbians.

They’re also mothers, to six-month-old Daniel, whom Katherine gave birth to after undergoing fertility treatment.

The Queensland Government has no problem with lesbians using IVF to have children.

Neither do they have a problem with taking on Katherine and Una as registered foster carers.

But they draw the line at gay adoption, meaning Una cannot be legally recognised as one of Daniel’s parents.

The Bligh Government’s refusal to consider same sex adoption is being used as part of a renewed push for federal laws preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians.

A Galaxy poll released today reveals 85% of Australians support the case for a national law on the issue.

Ms Eastaughffe told brisbanetimes.com.au the State Government’s Adoption Bill 2009, reintroduced to Parliament in April, was clearly discriminatory.

"It was a joint decision to have Daniel. He is very much both of ours," Ms Eastaughffe said.

"If Una was a man, there’d be no issue either way. Either by having her name on the birth certificate or by being able to adopt him as a step-parent.

"It doesn’t make sense to me. A man might not be the biological father but he is still treated as the parent, but not if it’s a woman who’s the "non-biological parent". That just seems outright discrimination."

Ms Eastaughffe said she and Ms Harkin, who’ve been together nine years, were completely open when applying to be foster carers for the State Government last year.

"We were quite honest and they were fine about that. In fact the foster care agencies see gay and lesbian couples as quite a resource to use," Ms Eastaughffe said.

"It smacks of somehow we’re good enough to look after children who’ve had a difficult life – and they’re the ones in some sense that need the best parenting – but not deemed good enough to be able to adopt, either our own children or other children."

Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said he was eager for a national law, similar to those governing discrimination on the basis of race or gender.

"Frankly, this is a demonstration of why we need such a law because all the research indicates there’s no difference in terms of the impact on the child as to whether their couples are same sex or opposite sex orientation," Mr Innes said.

"There’s no basis to discriminate on someone just because of who they love."

Mr Innes described Section 8 of Queensland’s Adoption Bill, which says the new law would apply "despite" the state’s own Anti-Discrimination Act, as very unusual.

"There are laws and principles of non-discrimination that Australia has committed to for a long time and unless there’s clear evidence which indicates that discrimination is necessary, then no, the principle of non-discrimination should apply," he said.

Queensland Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves said same sex parenting was a "complex and sensitive" issue.

He said the government was planning to conduct a review on the status of children being cared for by same sex parents, but it appears unlikely to change the government’s view on the issue of adoption.

"In an environment when you have such a small number of babies and such a large number of couples seeking to adopt, the onus is on the state to make a judgement about the best possible placement for a child and the prospect of that being anything other than opposite sex couples, we think is very low," Mr Reeves said.

But Corey Irlam, of the Australian Coalition for Equality, who commissioned the 1100-person Galaxy poll, said there were far more same-sex parents looking to adopt the children they already raised than strangers.

[Link: Original Article]

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