same sex adoption billSame sex couples will now have the same rights as their straight counterparts when it comes to adopting children, with the Adoption Amendment (Same Sex Couples) finally passed by NSW Parliament.

The bill was introduced by Sydney MP Clover Moore and narrowly passed in the Legislative Assembly on September 9. The vote was 46 in favour and 43 against, allowing the council to approve the Bill to become law.

Earlier definitions of de facto couple and spouse will be ammended to allow all couples the same standing regardless of sexual orientation. The Bill also amends stepparent adoption provisions that will allow for the legal recognition of same-sex step parents and long-term foster carers.

Several ammendments were made to the Bill prior to passing, including the right for the relinquishing parent to stipulate preferred background, religios beliefs and marital status of prospective adoptive parents.

Other states to allow same sex adoption include WA and ACT.

In a press release on the landmark ruling the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Convenor Kellie McDonald commented:

“We are very pleased that NSW Parliament has acted in the best interests of children, ensuring all children are able to have two legally recognised parents, regardless of their family structure.”