I am writing in relation to the release of the Queensland Government’s position papers titled, Queensland Government model for the decriminalisation of altruistic surrogacy and transfer of legal parentage and Review of the legal status of children being cared for by same-sex parents, dated August 2009.

I agree with the reforms proposed in these papers and believe they will have a significant, positive impact on many Queensland families without detracting from the existing rights of other families. I do not believe inclusion of more and differing family structures into the concept of a legal family lessens the definition of one.

My niece who turns 4 in February is being raised by two of the most caring parents I know of. They put her needs first, and she is growing into the most generous and smart person. As my sister carried her daughter she has parental rights. But my sister’s partner would not have the same legal rights as a divorced dad due to her sexuality. In this time where conceiving a child for same sex couples is hard and for those seeking surrogacy must go through an ordeal, why can it not be reasonable they receive the same rights? One’s sexuality does not make a person good or bad, smart or stupid, certainly heterosexual couples have not proven to date that a man and a woman raising a child is infallible. It is important that the children of same-sex parented families have the same rights and social supports as every other child in Queensland.

I want to live in a state where all children and all families are treated equally in the eyes of the law. I ask you to ensure all families receive these rights irrespective of their family arrangement. I urge the Queensland Government to implement these changes as soon as possible.