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LGBT Adoption Non-Discrimination Act Introduced in U.S. House

LGBT Adoption Non-Discrimination Act Introduced in U.S. House

Tuesday saw introduction in the US House of a bill that would bar discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans prospective parents in adoption and foster care. The bill was introduced by Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) and is called the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.

The Act would cut federal funds for states that allow discrimination in adoption and foster care based on an applicants’ sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

The bill currently has 33 original co-sponsors and, as reported earlier this year, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is expected to offer counterpart legislation in the Senate within the next few months.

In a press conference on the introduction of the bill Stark said the legislation is concerned with ensuring the maximum number of children can be placed in loving and nurturing homes regardless of marital status or LGBT identity and that he hopes it will gain the Obama administration’s full support.

From The Washington Blade:

At the news conference, Stark billed the legislation as a means to ensure children living in the foster care system have access to a greater number of adoptive families — including households with single parents or same-sex parents.

“What’s in the child’s best interest is what the bill is trying to promote,” Stark said. “There is no information that shows that children raised by a single parent or gay or lesbian parent households have any more or less problems than all other children.”

According to Stark’s office, the U.S. government spends more than $7 billion each year on a foster care system against potential single and LGBT parents and allows around 25,000 children age out annually. More than 500,000 children are in foster care and 120,000 of them available for adoption.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), an original co-sponsor for the bill, said the Every Child Deserves a Family Act is necessary to eliminate discrimination against potential LGBT parents and to iron out the differences in adoption policy throughout the country.

“Automatically disqualifying LGBT parents from adoption just because of sexual orientation is wrong,” McGovern said. “It makes no sense, especially when so many children are in foster care waiting to be adopted. The current patchwork of unfair state laws and policies … is denying multiple kids to permanent safe and stable homes.”

Arizona recently adopted a law that means married heterosexuals are given preference when it comes to adoption or foster care placements. Read more on that here.

Virginia adoption officials also recently declined to widen non-discrimination rules to make them LGBT inclusive after the Republican administration heavily opposed the move. Read more on that here.

Currently, the White House has not given the bill explicit backing though a spokesperson for the Obama administration has said that the President is behind any measure that “breaks barriers” to ensure that “all qualified caregivers have the ability to serve as adoptive families.”

As yet, the bill has no Republican co-sponsors and because of its intrinsic connection to marriage issues it is expected to receive heavy GOP resistance, however Stark is noted as being confident that the bill could garner Republican support as he believes that adoption non-discrimination need not be a partisan issue.

Read more at The Washington Blade.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Nerdcoregirl.

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6:35AM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

R JosephR said "This is a very bad and unhealthy idea".

Why? Recent studies have shown that the best parents for children are lesbians. The studies looked at how well adjusted the children were, their academic life, their physical and mental health, etc ... every aspect of the child's life was examined in detail.

There was absolutely no difference in the children of heterosexual and homosexual couples, but the children of lesbian couples scored better in every aspect of the study.

So I'll ask again, why is something that, at worst, will give the child the same start in life as living with a heterosexual couple or, at best, a better start in life such a "very bad and unhealthy idea"?

4:14AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

you know with the repugs in charge they won;t let it go through because they believe we are evil.

8:35AM PDT on May 6, 2011

Homes for kids, yes!!

7:45AM PDT on May 6, 2011

Any petitions out there to be signed in favor of this? I fully support this legislation and want my congressmen to know it.

10:03PM PDT on May 5, 2011

This is a very bad and unhealthy idea

3:28PM PDT on May 5, 2011

i hope it goes through

2:39PM PDT on May 5, 2011

It's about time! let's hope this bill moves forward!

11:25AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Now, what the Republicans are going to do is dredge up some lies and inaccuracies from somewhere about kids who grow up in homes of same sex couples becoming either gay or serial rapists.
Of course the fact that most of these kids become well adjusted, contributing members of society, gay or straight, will be ignored, just as they ignore the truth in everything else.

9:39AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Wow!!! Yay!!! One day, when I'm well, i plan to adopt a whole bunch of kids, and I may have a partner by then! I love these guys!!

6:01AM PDT on May 5, 2011

The only criteria for adoption must be the ability of he prospective parents to provide for the physical, social, emotional and personal needs (and that may include spiritual needs in many cases). The sexual orientation of prospective parents is irrelevant.

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