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Laws 2017, 6(3), 15; doi:10.3390/laws6030015

Some Parents Are More Equal than Others: Discrimination against People with Disabilities under Adoption Law

Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3053, Australia
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability Human Rights Law)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [282 KB, uploaded 23 August 2017]

Abstract

Article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) explicitly includes ‘the adoption of children’ as a right to which people with disabilities are equally entitled. Despite the CRPD having been in force for over nine years, research is yet to consider whether CRPD signatory states have brought their respective adoption regimes in line with their obligations under art 23 of the CRPD. Using the laws of the Australian state of Victoria by way of case study, this article aims to shed light on the difficulties people with disabilities still face when attempting to adopt children. In terms of methodology, this article conducts an interpretive critique of Victoria’s adoption law against art 23 of the CRPD, which it interprets mainly through the lens of the social model of disability. Ultimately, this article finds that Victoria’s adoption framework closely resembles the adoption regimes of many other CRPD signatories, yet it clearly fails to uphold Australia’s obligations under the CRPD. This is both as a result of the words of the legislation as well as their implementation in practice. This article proposes a suite of changes, both legislative and cultural, to bring Victoria’s adoption framework in line with art 23, which it hopes will serve as a catalyst for change in other CRPD signatory states. View Full-Text
Keywords: adoption; adoption law; CRPD; disability; disability rights; people with disabilities; social model; medical model; Victorian adoption law adoption; adoption law; CRPD; disability; disability rights; people with disabilities; social model; medical model; Victorian adoption law
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Connell, B. Some Parents Are More Equal than Others: Discrimination against People with Disabilities under Adoption Law. Laws 2017, 6, 15.

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