The adoption practices of Torres Strait Islanders have been legally recognised in Australia for the first time, after the Queensland parliament passed a new law overnight.
The Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa Act 2020, which translates to "For Our Children's Children", will allow Torres Strait Islander children to be adopted by relatives or other community members.
Queensland MP Cynthia Lui, who represents the Far North seat of Cook, said Torres Strait Islanders have raised their children in loving, supportive extended families or kinship groups for generations.
"Until now, these family relationships have never been fully recognised in law," she said.
"This act means children and adults who've grown up with traditional adoptive parents will finally have their legal identity match their cultural identity."
Previously, children could only take the name of their biological parents as the family or kinship relationships were not recognised.
This resulted in a myriad of identification issues, resulting in difficulty getting a passport or drivers license or access to education, health, banking and housing services.
The bill passed into law unanimously in state parliament late on Tuesday with support from the LNP opposition and crossbench.
It was introduced by Ms Lui, who is the first Torres Strait Islander to be elected to an Australian parliament.
Aunty Ivy Trevallion, who chaired the Kupai Omasker working group, said the law would preserve traditional child-rearing practices while removing legal barriers.
Queensland is the first state in Australia to adopt the law, fulfilling a promise made by the Palaszczuk Labor government at the 2017 state election.