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'Gay adoption' private members bill drawn

Thu 30 Aug 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Hot on the heels of the successful introduction to Parliament of a private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage another private members bill, to address the issue of same sex adoption, has suddenly come out of the ballot. Labour MP Jacinda Ardern's Care of Children Law Reform Bill was drawn today. Its intent is to change the archaic provisions in the half-century old Adoption legislation which did not countenance the concept of two men or two women being in a relationship and wanting to take combined responsibility for a child's upbringing. At present one man or a woman can adopt a child, but not two people of the same sex jointly. De-facto couples can adopt but not same sex couples, even if they have committed to their relationship by way of a Civil Union. Labout MP Louisa Wall's same-sex marriage equality bill, should it pass through its next two stages in the house, will in effect allow adoption by a married gay couple as they will be formally termed spouses and this conforms to the language of the current adoption laws. Adern's bill will go much further and tidy up the Adoption laws themselves. "The basic idea is to change the way we make decisions so the child is at the centre of everything and so it allows us to make decisions in their best interests," Adern says. At present there is no indication of when Adern's bill might get its first reading in the house but it is entirely possible it will overlap with the marriage equality bill's progress and see the glbti communities lobbying and fighting battles on two issues simultaneously.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 30th August 2012 - 1:42pm

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