Friday, March 13, 2015
“What a child is entitled to is loving parents. The fact that people are heterosexual does not necessarily make them good parents,” said Chief Judge John Pascoe in evidence before the House of Representatives committee informal inquiry about surrogacy. Chief Judge Pascoe heads up the Federal Circuit Court, which decides most family law cases in Australia.
His Honour said this after I gave evidence that the law in several States discriminated on the basis of sexuality and relationship status, and it shouldn’t, and the chair of the committee, George Christensen from Mackay said, responding to my evidence: “There is a sound argument that every child deserves a mother and a father, and that is equally as valid as the argument that you put forward.”
Chief Judge Pascoe went on to say:
“As we saw in the baby Gammy case, that was to all intents and purposes a heterosexual couple but it would be difficult to say that the man in that relationship was a suitable parent….You do not have to sit in family law for long to see that there are both good and bad heterosexual parents. The real issue is: are these people who will love, protect and care for the child? I think it is really important that we do not focus on issues like the sexuality of intending parents but that we focus on the rights and the protection of the child, and also the rights, care and protection of the birth mother.”
The committee has not yet decided what to do, but one possibility is that there will be a formal Parliamentary inquiry.