The Northern Territory makes an historic move on adoption rights

By , 17/12/2018 16:21

Northern Territory law will no longer discriminate against Territorians who are capable of providing loving and safe homes for children.

In an historic move, amendments to the NT Adoption of Children Act were passed this week in the Legislative Assembly that will allow de facto and same sex couples the legal right to adopt children in the Territory.

The Act previously only allowed adults who were a married man and woman, or in a traditional Aboriginal marriage, the right to legally adopt children.

“Children and families are at the heart of theGovernment’s decision making and that’s why we introduced this legislation change to Parliament last year,” Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield said.

“All couples, regardless of marital status or gender, who genuinely want to provide children with a loving, caring and safe home environment, should have the legal right to apply.

“Modernising our adoption laws reflect the diversity of Territory families today.”

Prior to the legislation change, the NT was the only jurisdiction in that did not permit people in de facto or same sex relationships the right to adopt children.

This legislation change is welcomed by Sally Cotton, a member of Rainbow Territory.

“Rainbow Territory strongly supports today’s amendments to the Adoption of Children Act. This is an important law reform,” Ms Cotton said.

“For too long access to adoption had been restricted to married couples. This didn’t reflect the people and families that make up the Territory and directly discriminated against same-sex couples and unmarried couples.”

The amendment will now be gazetted into law.

Katherine Times

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