Australian gay couples can now adopt children, but only in Victoria

The same-sex adoption bill passed the state’s upper house last month, and the lower house on Wednesday

Kate Ng
Wednesday 09 December 2015 19:03
The passing of the bill has been called a 'milestone' for gay couples in Australia
The passing of the bill has been called a 'milestone' for gay couples in Australia

Australian same-sex couples can now legally adopt children – but only in the state of Victoria.

The state’s lower house passed the Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Bill unopposed on Wednesday, reports Pink News.

The Victorian upper house passed the bill last month, but amended it to give religious exemptions.

The Government had been considering whether to reject the amendment and withdraw the entire bill until now, according to ABC News.

Victoria’s equality minister Martin Foley called the religious exemption “rubbish” earlier this year. He said agreeing to the exemptions would be “instituting lesser forms of discrimination”.

But the Government agreed to the exemptions in order to enact the bill.

Mr Foley said in a statement on Facebook: “After 15 years of struggle Victoria now has Adoption Equality. I pay tribute to the work of gender diverse and same sex families in achieving this milestone.

“Whilst the work of equality is never done this is a major milestone. Above all it is to recognise the rights of children and loving parents.

“It is Love and Families – in all their glorious diversity that we mark today.”

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The bill now awaits royal assent before going into effect.

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