Hope for gay couples wanting to adopt – Australia

A proposal to allow gay couples to adopt children will be considered by state and federal governments next month in the wake of a Victorian inquiry which found having same-sex parents posed no risks to children. The office of the NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, said yesterday the ban would be reviewed at the end of July at a meeting of attorneys-general, who had agreed to base their discussions on the Victorian inquiry. Under current laws, same-sex couples in NSW are banned from adopting as a couple, but individuals are allowed to adopt.Any move to allow same-sex adoptions in NSW would set the Government on a new collision course with the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, who claimed last year that children had a right to a father and mother. Dr Pell said there was “significant evidence about the benefits of marriage” over same-sex partnerships, and the church’s welfare and adoption agency, Centacare, was unlikely to place children with same-sex couples.The report released yesterday by the Victorian Law Reform Commission found having single, gay or lesbian parents posed no risk to a child’s wellbeing. “Research shows that a parent’s sexuality is not a predictor of harm to children,” the report found. “The commission believes it is important the widest possible pool of people is available to help these children & However, people with histories of violence, sexual abuse or neglect of children do pose a risk.” The Prime Minister, John Howard, has opposed adoptions by same-sex couples. The Premier, Morris Iemma, would not express an opinion yesterday and said the issue would be a matter for cabinet.