Thursday, 9 September 2010

Gay Adoption Passes Final Hurdle in NSW

After the original narrow passage in the lower house of the New South Wales Parliament, it's been somewhat of a to and fro struggle, but the bill has now finally passed. New South Wales has joined ACT (Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia) in providing for adoption by same sex couples.

Typically, the difficulties concerned attempts to deal with religious objections. The original bill passed in the lower house only after an amendment to provide for some exemptions for religious bodies. In the Upper House, a conflicting amendment was passed to narrow the scope of those amendments, requiring that the bill return to the Lower House - then back to the upper house again.
A BILL giving same-sex couples the right to adopt has been passed by the NSW parliament, after the Legislative Council voted in support of a last-minute amendment to the legislation.
The bill passed its final hurdle in the upper house just after 6.30pm (AEST) today, after MPs backed the lower house amendment.
The amendment, made by Planning Minister Frank Sartor, frees up adoption agencies to act on the wishes of parents regarding where their children are adopted. It was made to temper changes made in the upper house on Wednesday night, which narrowed an exemption from the Anti-Discrimination Act for faith-based adoption agencies. MPs have been allowed a conscience vote on the historic legislation, leading to heated debate in both houses of the NSW parliament. NSW is now the third state or territory to allow same-sex adoption, after the ACT and Western Australia.

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