Parliament: Speeches on Bills

Adoption (Review) Amendment Bill

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I also take the floor to lend my support to this bill, which is a bill that, amongst other things, seeks to establish a provision for the adoption of adult persons where there has been a parent-like relationship for some time and that can be proven, and also extend the eligibility for adoption to single people and same-sex couples.

Unfortunately, we need only open a newspaper or turn on our radio these days to hear stories of children and young people who, to put it very lightly, do not have the right thing done by them. Given that there is so much hardship, difficulty and pain in the world for children and young people at the moment, I believe that we must do anything we can to spread our net as widely as possible to ensure that we are finding anyone who is able to provide a safe and loving home for children and young people. I certainly believe that that can be provided regardless of relationship status, gender or romantic and sexual orientation.

Adoption is an issue that is also, as for the Hon. Mr Hood, quite close to my heart personally. I have two beautiful adopted cousins, Kaitlin and Thomas, who were both adopted (at different times) from Thailand many years ago. I also somewhat argue that I have an adoptive parent, not in the official legal sense, but in the sense that he earned it. He is Geoff, my mum’s partner. I sometimes call him dad, but not often, because then he would know that he won the battle with teenage me for my heart, but he certainly did earn that.

I would also like to pause at this point to point out that the people whom I consider my parents, Colleen and Geoff, are unmarried. As far as I am aware, they do not have any intention to marry, but they have been together for over 10 years now and their relationship is certainly just as valid, meaningful and loving as any other. I think all I would really like to say is that this is an issue that is very close to my heart for a lot of reasons and I am very happy to support this bill. I may, however, have some questions at the committee stage, and I look forward to asking those, but in general principle, I lend my strong support to this bill.