I am eleven years old and I have two mums and a brother, I see both my mothers as equal parents and think it is unfair that our family is not treated the same way as my friends who have straight parents.

Phoebe

Don’t forget, we need you to visit your Queensland state MP. The previous post tells you how to do it.


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The community consultation has been extended until 30 September.

We have almost two more weeks where we can’t flag.

So for the next almost two weeks I’d like to focus on getting professionals to write in.

Do you know any:

  • doctors
  • psychologists
  • social workers
  • child care workers
  • school teachers
  • lawyers

or any other child-related professionals who you could ask to write to the consultation?

They can still use the form letter at www.arcq.com.au – just ask them to add anything they have observed in their professional experience.

If they want to know about the research into same sex parenting we have a summary of the research here and a more extensive literature review, prepared by the Australian Psychological Society, here.

By now, many of you have heard about the “technical hitch” which means that although the state government’s Community Consultation into altruistic surrogacy and same sex parenting received 569 submissions, they can’t read them.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

So the Dept of Justice & Attorney General has written to all  correspondents asking us to resubmit. Please do, although I’m finding it hard to be enthused myself.

They have extended the Consultation period until the 30 September, so if you have anyone who hasn’t submitted, don’t forget to remind them.

I must say, it is rather deflating. All that effort, wasted!

We know that at least 150 of the submissions are positive, as we can count the ones that went via the arcq.com.au website. Of the other 429, we have no idea.

Please resubmit. And if you can think of anything to say to get me reinvigorated, please do.

That’s Friday September 18, so if you haven’t already sent in a letter, you can do so quickly at www. arcq.com.au

I’ve no idea how many people have written in to support us, just like I have no idea how active the “anti” lobby has been.

Hopefully the anti-same sex parenting lobby are merely revealing themselves to be obsessed and irrational.  Don’t you  wonder why, when they profess to find it so abhorrent,  some people feel it  necessary to completely immerse themselves in thinking about the homosexual ‘lifestyle’? I suspect however, that our real problem is that the MPs are more conservative than the general community.

After tomorrow, we’ll need to get onto the next stage – approaching MPs so they get to see us as real people. It’s going to be a big job.

But don’t worry about it for now – just get your letters in (and your parents’, and your friends’, and your colleagues’…)

You can just send an email to the community consultation on legalpolicysubmission@justice.qld.gov.au saying “I support recognition of same sex parents and the inclusion of gay men in the surrogacy legislation”, but if you want to write a longer letter, the one below is from the ARCQ website.

*****

To the Director, Strategic Policy,

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.

[Insert your own story or interest in this issue here]

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.

Prospective parents seeking to use altruistic surrogacy, regardless of whether the couple is heterosexual or same sex, will engage in informed, consenting activity with a surrogate. All parties in these arrangements deserve the protection of the Queensland law just as it is currently provided in most states and territories in Australia.

The proposed parenting presumption reform to include the birth mother’s same sex partner on the birth certificate so she can be recognised as a parent will simply extend the current recognition afforded to heterosexual couples using donor sperm for the conception of their children. It will provide important recognition and protection needed by same sex couples and their children. This reform will provide for consistency with Federal laws where same sex couples with children are now recognised as families.

I note that many states have introduced parenting presumption provisions relating only to when a medically supervised fertilisation procedure is used. I think this is an unfortunate legal emphasis on the medical model when, for at least a generation, lesbian couples and their male friends have often reached agreements to conceive children without the reliance on high levels of (expensive) medical intervention. Accordingly, I believe that the proposed reforms should focus on the relationship between the partners and to their child rather than the method of conception. I also believe that the law should be retrospective to enable partners that can demonstrate intention to co-parent at the time of a child’s birth to amend their child’s birth certificate for the inclusion of the non-biological parent.

All families deserve these rights irrespective of their family arrangement. I urge the Queensland Government to implement these changes as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

[Name]

[contact address eg email]