Laws to allow same-sex couples to adopt pass Queensland Parliament

(AAP) Source: AAP

Changes to adoption laws in Queensland to include same-sex couples have passed state parliament.

Laws allowing same-sex couples and other previously-excluded groups to adopt children in Queensland have passed in the state parliament.

The changes, which were debated late on Wednesday night, will broaden the pool of potential adoptive parents to also include single people and those undergoing fertility treatment.

Same-sex couples are able to adopt children elsewhere in Australia, apart from in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman told parliament the changes would remove a discriminatory barrier.

"While Queensland may not be the first to break down this barrier, I am determined we will not be the last," she said.

But Ros Bates, the Liberal National Party's child safety spokeswoman, opposed the eligibility expansion citing an insufficient demand for adoption in Queensland.

"Any expansion of the right to adopt to single people and same-sex couples will do nothing but create an unrealistic expectation amongst those Queenslanders that they will have an easy access to adoption," she said.

Ms Bates said in 2015/16 there were only 21 Queensland adoption orders finalised, while the relevant department received less then 10 expression of interest applications for local adoptions per month.

"Adoption is not about appeasing someone wanting to adopt, but finding a child the best home in which to grow up happy and healthy," she said.

Ms Bates said the bill had been rushed through the committee stage, despite a six-month consultation period described as "extensive" by Ms Fentiman.

The LNP and two Katter's Australian Party MPs voted against the changes, leading to a heated interjection from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.

"Disgraceful," she said. "Bigots."

Ms Trad was forced to withdraw the comment after LNP MP Trevor Watts took offence.

The laws passed with the support of Speaker Peter Wellington and Independent MPs Rob Pyne and Billy Gordon.

Source AAP

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