THE Australian Christian Lobby has come out swinging against the government's new adoption laws, saying there was ``no logical reason'' for the changes, and that children's rights were being ignored.
Children's Minister Michelle O'Byrne tabled the laws in parliament yesterday, saying it was in the best interests of children to ``increase the number of potential carers that can help our vulnerable children in need of a new home''.
ACL Tasmanian director Mark Brown disagreed, saying children have a right to both a mother and a father.
``We know that through tragedy or desertion this is not always possible but adoption is one area where governments can restore this important value for the benefit of children,'' Mr Brown said.
The bill is not expected to lead to a groundswell of adoptions, with just a handful in Tasmania each year.
Two previous investigations have found that in the best interests of the child, no distinction should be made as to the gender of adoptive parents.
A majority of a 2009 NSW Parliamentary Committee found that ``an adoptive child's best interests are determined in the context of an assessment of the individual child's needs and the individual prospective parents capacity to meet those needs.''
A 2003 Tasmanian Law Reform Institute found that extending adoption rights to same-sex parents was ``in the best interests of the children''.
That same report argued ``both international human rights standards and our domestic laws require Tasmania to eliminate discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation''.
It is estimated that around 12-20 same-sex couples care for foster children. These parents may look to adopt.
Liberal leader Will Hodgman said his party had yet to make a decision as to whether it would support the changes as it had not had enough time to digest the amendments. A Greens spokesperson confirmed the party's in-principle support.