Home' LOTL : JulAug 16 Contents 7
lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
NEWS | UPFRONT
The New South Wales baby Blue Book is set to get an upgrade in 2017 to
become more inclusive of diverse families.
The baby Blue Book is issued to all new parents in NSW to help track their
child’s development and health records. The book has recently been criti-
cised for excluding same-sex and gender diverse couples.
Currently, the book only refers to the parents as ‘mother’ and father’, which
forces same-sex parents to assume traditional gender roles when com-
pleting forms and medical histories.
“Generally, health workers are amazing and don’t bat an eyelid when les-
bian mums have their kids,” said the co-chair of Rainbow Families, Justine
Maguire-Scarvelli. “ But there’s an awkward moment when the paperwork
is handed over and all of a sudden one of you has to ‘be the dad.’ ”
Rainbow Families is a volunteer organisation which provides a network of
support to children and families within the NSW LGBTIQ community.
In 2011, there were over 6,100 children living in same-sex couple families,
up from 3,400 in 2001, and the majority of these families had female
THE BABY BLUE BOOK WILL BE UPDATED TO INCLUDE SAME-SEX PARENTS IN 2017
THE HEALTH RECORD BOOK WILL UNDERGO A MAJOR REVIEW TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE TO DIVERSE FAMILIES
BY SAMARA MCCANN
Jo Haylen (left) with Justine Maguire-Scarvelli at a community event.
NSW state MP, Jo Haylen, believes more needs to be done to recognise
the legitimacy of same-sex families.
“ When you’ve just had a new baby, or adopted or fostered a child for that
matter, you don’t want the stress of having to explain the ins and outs of
your personal life, and you shouldn’t have to,” she said.
“ This is a record of your child’s earliest years and it’s important that all
kinds of families are represented.”
In May of this year, Haylen put forward a motion in the NSW state Parlia-
ment to change the language of the Blue Book to be more inclusive of
LGBTI families, single-parent families and grandparent carer families.
“ I ’m concerned that LGBTIQ parents or single parents or grandparent-
carers open the Blue Book and immediately feel excluded because it
doesn’t fully represent all the kinds of families that exist in modern day
NSW,” Haylen told LOTL.
In response, the NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner has indicated the
Blue Book will undergo a major review before the release of the 2017 edi-
tion and will be updated to be more inclusive towards diverse families.
It is possible the amendments will include a suggestion from Rainbow
Families to alter parent titles to ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’.
“ I ’m heartened by the Minister’s positive response,” said Haylen. “ It gives a
strong indication that the Blue Book will change to reflect family diversity.
I’ll keep working with my constituents and Rainbow Families to make sure
the Government follows through.”
Maguire-Scarvelli has welcomed the review, claiming it is an important
change for rainbow families in NSW.
“Changing the language to be more
inclusive is a good thing and we’d like to
see a better acknowledgement that not
every kid has a mum and dad,” she said.
“ This is a very quiet acknowledgement that
families come in all shapes and sizes. As we
say at Rainbow Families, it’s love that
makes a family!”
ENGLISH, HEALTH +
Choose from hundreds of great
courses. For complete details and
to enrol go to:
A page from the baby Blue Book.
Links Archive MayJune 2016 SepOct16 Navigation Previous Page Next Page