Same-sex couples can now adopt children in any state or territory in Australia.
The Northern Territory became the last territory to change its laws to allow same-sex couples to adopt, according to Gay Star News. The March 13 law change will allow couples to adopt regardless of if they are married.
“All couples, regardless of marital status or gender, who genuinely want to provide children with a loving, caring and safe home environment, should have the legal right to apply,” Northern Territory’s Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield said. “Modernising our adoption laws reflect the diversity of Territory families today.”
Same-sex couples were previously allowed to foster children in their homes but were not allowed to fully adopt them, according to Gay Star News. The change comes after Australia approved same-sex marriage in December 2017.
“The Northern Territory joins the rest of Australia in recognising that what matters most is that children grow up in loving and safe homes, regardless of the gender of the people that care for them,” director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Legal Center Anna Brown said. “The passage of adoption equality will make a significant difference to children who are already being raised in loving homes by same-sex couples. This will finally give them the emotional and legal stability that’s long overdue.”