Sydney Morning Herald September 11, 2010
Barnardos Australia, which has been at the forefront of child welfare for than 120 years, has embraced the legislation passed in the NSW Parliament allowing adoption by same-sex couples and will proceed with three adoptions in line with it. Elizabeth Cox, who manages Barnardos’ Find-a-Family program, which runs the adoption service, said couples had been fostering children over a long term and case-plans had been fully prepared. The agency had one adoption by a same-sex couple last year – but as the law stood then only one person could be the adopter. That arrangement would remain unless the two adults involved decided they wanted to adopt as a couple. Ms Cox said: ”We see the legislation as a chance for children to have two parents. That has always been our position. These children had been cared for for some time. They should have two legal parents.”
Barnardos, along with Anglicare and CatholicCare, is a sanctioned adoption agency funded by the state government. It supported the same-sex adoption bill and made a submission to the parliamentary inquiry advocating its adoption. ”What I am just saying is that children who have gay and lesbian parents should have the same rights as with a heterosexual person adopting,” she said. Anglicare and CatholicCare, being religious agencies, have an exemption under the act in which they can refuse adoptions by same-sex couples. Both agencies said yesterday they would stand by that right.