From today, same-sex couples can legally adopt a child in South Australia.

Minister for Education and Child Development Susan Close said the removal of the discrimination against same sex couples was law catching up with reality.

The change will mean children will have access to the best parents without discrimination based on their gender.

The new law will also have immediate impact for couples such as Shaun and Blue Douglas-Galley who have been campaigning for almost three years to have the law changed.

They arrived from England in October 2013 along with the two young sons they adopted in the UK, but they have not been certain about the legal status as the boys’ parents.

At a reception in May at Parliament House, the State Government received a petition with 15,000 signatures asking that same sex couples be eligible to adopt.

Background

Last year, Minister Close introduced the Bill to the Lower House which contained a raft of changes to the Adoption Act 1988 and Adoption Regulations 2004, including allowing same-sex couples the right to apply to adopt a child in SA. South Australia is now in line with all other states in Australia.

Quotes attributable to Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close

I am delighted that from today children can be adopted by the best parents in South Australia, whether they are same-sex or different-sex parents.

We want to ensure children have loving, nurturing and safe environments - that is what matters in considering the adoption of children in South Australia.

By legalising same-sex adoption, South Australia has become a more inclusive and respectful society.

Quotes attributable to Shaun Douglas-Galley

Our campaign started close to three years ago, with the aim to educate those opposed to same sex couple adoption, and to allow people a platform to have their say. Thousands of people from within Australia and around the world put their names to our campaign and to them we owe a thank you, their voice put power to this change.

Premier Jay Weatherill has shown leadership on this matter, alongside Minister Close - who stands tall as an advocate for LGBTIQ, her passion to see this change through has never faltered.

We want to say to all those young LGBTIQ people who may be questioning themselves, who don’t feel worthy, or accepted – be proud of who you are, find your voice and realise you can be and do whatever it is that others do. Finally to our sons Joshi and Dylan – we love you more than you will ever know, you have taught us to never accept direct or indirect discrimination – and to speak up for what is right.

Whilst there is more to do to reach full equality within the law – we know attitudes have shifted here in South Australia.