Two Sydney dads have become the first gay couple to legally adopt children in NSW, following September’s changes to the State’s Adoption Act.
Today’s Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr Smith and Mr Jones (yes, you are correct in presuming these are not their real names) last week became the legal parents of their two foster children, William aged 9 and Jane aged 5, whom they had already been parenting for a number of years.
The Judge presiding over the case published a statement in which he stated that although the community would ''grapple for some time with the novelty of same-sex couple adoptions'', such applications did not require a different or overly cautious approach from the courts. He went on to say that the court was not concerned with ideological debate surrounding lesbian and gay parenting, only what was best for the children. In his view, Mr Smith and Mr Jones were ''unquestionably capable of parenting these two children''.
The recent changes to the NSW adoption act mean that the definition of a ‘couple’ for adoption purposes is now ‘two persons’, rather than a man and a woman, making same-sex couples eligible to become adoptive parents. MPs were allowed a conscience vote on this issue and the bill narrowly passed through the lower house, 46 votes to 44. This change brought NSW into line with the ACT and WA on allowing same-sex couples to adopt.