Northern Territory allows same-gender couples to adopt

The Northern Territory has this week passed a new bill that will allow same-gender couples to adopt children in the Top End.

The Adoption of Children Legislation Amendment (Equality) Bill 2017 passed through the territory’s sole house of parliament yesterday, bringing the NT in line with the rest of the nation.

Previously, same-gender couples in the NT have been able to foster and take children into permanent care, but not eligible to adopt.

Dale Wakefield, NT’s Minister for Territory Families, said modernising adoption laws reflects the diversity of Territory families today.

“All couples, regardless of marital status or gender, who genuinely want to provide children with a loving, caring and safe home environment, should have the legal right to apply,” Wakefield said.

Anna Brown of the Human Rights Law Centre has also celebrated the move.

“The Northern Territory joins the rest of Australia in recognising that what matters most is that children grow up in loving and safe homes – regardless of the gender of the people that care for them,” Brown said.

“Now that marriage equality has passed nationally, it’s important we bring the laws in every state in line with modern community values and remove every last stain of discrimination against LGBTI people from the statute books across this country.”

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