New Equality Minister Martin Foley has wasted no time in ensuring gay couples will be allowed to adopt children in Victoria.
Just hours after being sworn in as part of the new Andrews government, Mr Foley promised to expeditiously amend adoption laws in order to bring Victoria into line with New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
At present, gay couples in Victoria can be appointed as foster parents or guardians, but do not have the right to adopt a child together – even if that child has been in their care for years.
The plans have been broadly welcomed by the gay community, although some are concerned the government wants to conduct a review before it introduces legislation into parliament.
Mr Foley said a quick review was necessary to ensure there were no inadvertent “mishaps” when drafting the reforms.
“It will be dealt with as expeditiously and as thoroughly as we can. We will do it once, and we will do it right.”
Mr Foley’s appointment marks the first time an Australian government has ever had a dedicated minister for overseeing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues.
Meanwhile, same-sex couples in Queensland are left in the wilderness.
The adoption law was last reviewed in 2009 when the Bligh Government point blank refused to consider allowing gay couples to adopt children.