Adoption by same-sex couples is now legal except for Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland. Couples who cannot adopt can apply for parenting orders.
The requirements or qualifications to adopt by same-sex couples would depend on the laws passed by the states or territory. In NSW, the qualifications for same-sex couples to be able to adopt are the same as heterosexual couples, which are that they must be of good reputation, fit and proper persons, at least 21 years old, must be 18 years older than the child and they must have lived together continuously for two years.
The advantage of adoption is that the same-sex couple will be recognized as the child’s legal parents. The names of the couple can be added to the child’s birth certificate. As the legal parents of the child, the same-sex couple will exercise the rights and responsibilities of parents under the Family Law Act. The adoption also has financial implications for employment-related benefits and insurance. Adopted children become the beneficiaries of their adopted parents in life and health insurance.
Perhaps the most significant positive effect of legalizing is the identity it gives the children. Advocates argue that it is in the child’s best interests and therefore would be pursuant to the Family Law Act’s mandate. Children are reassured that the people who care for them and love them are the same people that society recognizes as their parents. The recognition of a child’s parents is important to a child’s concept of a family.
There is no denying that LGBTs are now part of society. They are involved in de facto relationships because marriage is not yet a legal option for them. Just like any normal couple, same-sex partners also want to have children.
In some states or territories adoption is not legalized for couples so what some partners do is that they apply for parenting orders about the child of their partner. The same-sex partner applies for a parenting order as a significant person in the care, development and welfare of the child of the partner. Applying for parenting orders is the next best solution for couples who live in areas where adoption is not allowed to them.
It is noteworthy to mention that there exists a preference for granting parenting orders rather than adoption which severs the ties of a birth mother with her child. The birth mother loses all rights to her child once he/she is adopted.