NZ Herald 2 Nov 2011
A majority of voters support changing the law to allow gay couples to adopt children, according to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey. Labour and the Greens have pushed the rights of gay people as an election issue, but the National Party has sidelined them as not a priority. Adoption in New Zealand is governed by the Adoption Act 1955, and Labour and the Greens say the law needs of an update.
More than half – 54.3 per cent – of the poll respondents said the law should be changed to allow gay couples to adopt children, 38 per cent disagreed, and 7.7 per cent did not know or refused to answer. The result is the reverse of an online poll on the Herald website in 2009, when 41 per cent of 7000 voters were in favour of gay adoption, and 59 per cent were against it.
Family First Comment: Bring on the debate! The purpose of adoption is not to provide a child to adults, but rather to provide a family to a child. Same sex couple and single parent adoption and surrogacy potentially harms children because it intentionally creates motherless and fatherless families. There is no shortage of couples willing to adopt. While a compassionate and caring society always comes to the aid of motherless and fatherless families, it is dangerous ground to intentionally create fatherless or motherless families.
Non-discrimination and adult human rights in adoption is an adult-centred policy. The granting of special rights to some – in this case single adults, and same-sex and de facto couples – can also mean that other people (children) lose their rights. But we must give primary consideration to the best interests of the child. The Spanish Association of Paediatrics has opposed same-sex adoption and a multi-party Commission of the French National Assembly in Jan 2006 said “the best interests of the child must prevail over adult freedom… even including the lifestyle choices of parents.” The Commission did not support adoption by single parents or same sex couples.