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Equality for adoptive families a parting win for Democrats.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja   Democrat Senator for South Australia 

Equality for adoptive families a parting win for Democrats 

All adoptive families will finally be able to receive the baby bonus following a five year campaign by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja on behalf of the Democrats. The change was passed in the Senate today.

The Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (2008 Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2008 will abolish the age restriction for adoptive families receiving the baby bonus from January 2009. Currently, only parents adopting children up to the age of two are eligible to receive the payment.

"I am very proud to have helped bring about this change in my final weeks in the Senate," Democrats' Work and Family Spokesperson Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said.

Senator Stott Despoja has campaigned to make all adoptive families eligible for the baby bonus since 2003. In 2005, this led to the previous Government increasing the age limit from six months to two years, but families whose child had already turned two when he or she arrived in Australia were denied the payment.

"Until now, many worthy adoptive parents have been denied the baby bonus due to this arbitrary age restriction, despite often facing greater costs than biological parents in establishing or extending their family," Senator Stott Despoja said.

"This is a wonderful day for adoptive families. Finally, it provides the recognition and equality they deserve," Senator Stott Despoja said.

Media contact: Raina Hunter - 0417 085 260