Legislation allowing Tasmanian couples who have a significant relationship registered under the Relationships Act to adopt children not known to them was passed by the House of Assembly yesterday.
The Bill, introduced by Children Minister Michelle O’Byrne (pictured), passed 18 votes to four after the Liberals allowed a conscience vote on the issue.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman, Rodney Croome said the Bill allowed adoption authorities to choose from the widest pool of prospective parents and removed stigma against all families headed by same-sex couples.
“It allows foster children already in the care of same-sex couples to be adopted by their foster parents when it is in their best interests,” Mr Croome said.
He applauded the Liberal Party for its position.
Five Liberal MPs crossed the floor to vote with Labor and the Greens, including Opposition Leader Will Hodgman and his deputy, Jeremy Rockliff.
“It is a sign of how far Tasmania has come that there is such strong cross-party support,” Mr Croome said.
Ms O’Byrne said the current law discriminated against both heterosexual and same-sex couples.