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These comments reflect the views of the participants in the forum, they do not necessarily represent the final conclusions of the Inquiry. Same-sex couples should have the same opportunities as heterosexual couples in accessing adoption.
The issue is important for gay and lesbian couples because there is always one non-biological parent. So it is about protecting children in the event that the biological parent dies. The issue is not about gay men adopting children from overseas.
Same-sex couples face a number of issues when accessing aged care services. For example, if a couple owns their own house, and one of them has to go into aged care, the remaining partner would only be able to stay in the house for 2 years.
The house would then have to be sold. This would not happen if they were recognised as a couple. Same-sex couples in Victoria do not have access to Assisted Reproductive Technology. This means that if a lesbian couple wants to have children they have to travel to Brisbane, Sydney or Albury. Some couples choose a known donor for insemination as they feel that their families are vulnerable.
They do not want to bring anyone into the family that may threaten them. A lesbian couple describe their fight to ensure that the non-biological mother was recognised throughout the birth of their child. At every step and every doctor's appointment the non-biological mother's role had to be stated.