Australian state allows same-sex couples to adopt
Brisbane, Nov 3 Australia's Queensland state on Thursday passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt children.
Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman said the Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 passed at the state parliament, bringing Queensland into line with New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania as those which allow the move, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Discriminatory barriers that prevent LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex) from being able to adopt a child have no place in our community or in our laws," Fentiman said in a statement.
"It is only fair members of our LGBTI community have the same rights as any other Queenslander, and that includes the right to raise a family with an adopted child," she said.
Fentiman said the change to the law follows a statutory review of the state's Adoption Act 2009, which asked community members to share their experience of adoption and make recommendations about how the process can be improved.
More than 350 Queenslanders and organisations responded, with the vast majority supportive of the removal of barriers preventing same-sex couples, single people and couples undergoing fertility treatment, from adopting.
At present same sex couples living in Australia except in the Northern Territory and South Australia can adopt children but marrying their partners still remained illegal nationwide.
Last month, Australia's opposition Labor Party officially announced it will block a legislation for a same-sex marriage plebiscite, or public vote, which was set to be held in February 2017 on grounds that it would be divisive.