Virginia Board of Social Services Rejects Gay-Inclusive Adoption Rules

The Virginia Board of Social Services this week voted 7–2 to reject additional nondiscrimination rules governing adoption and foster care agencies.

Current law bans discrimination on the grounds of race, national origin and ethnicity. The proposed changes, which have been on hold since 2009, would have widened that to include: sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability, political beliefs and family status.

LGBT campaigners were especially disappointed with the board’s decision.

From the Human Rights Campaign

“Today the State Board of Social Services told the 1,300 children already waiting for a loving, forever home that they’ll have to wait longer,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “We will continue to fight for Virginia’s children.  We call on the legislature to pass legislation that makes the best interest of the child the sole basis for adoption, not whether someone is gay or whether two caring adults are able to be married.”

“It is a sad day, indeed, when public servants charged with upholding the constitution and serving the best interests of Virginia’s children put those obligations aside because of political pressure or fear,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia.  “We need to change the law so that Virginia’s children in foster care and waiting for adoption are not denied the opportunity to have a loving home and two parents to care for them based on factors, such as the sexual orientation of the prospective parents, which have nothing to do with the children’s best interests. We will take action to assure that no GLBT person or couple with a loving home to offer a child is denied the right to parent simply because of who they are.”

Current law means that only single men and women and married couples can adopt. As such, same-sex couples are unable to raise children with both partners enjoying parental rights.

Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli opposed the changes with McDonnell saying faith-based agencies should not be forced to change their policies.

Ken Cuccinelli also dashed off a memo saying that the state board’s adoption of sexual orientation-inclusive nondiscrimination rules would be in excess of its power because state law gives sexual orientation no protection. A 2009 opinion by a former Republican AG would seem to disagree, notes The Washington Post, but Cuccinelli dismissed that review as flawed.

In topic related news, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer this week signed into law a bill that says adoption and foster care agencies should give preference to married (therefore heterosexual) couples. Read more on that here.


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


New G.
W. C.4 years ago

Sad news, thank you.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Bethany B. is just on Care2 to stir up controversy. It's an automated opinion machine behind that pseudonyme. Why else would a teabag/repuke be on Care2, the only site on the Interwebs where members do CARE about issues AND do something to help others?

As for the article above: I have a strong feeling the seven against really enjoy the fact that children will have to stay in the care of the state. Why? Because those children can be used in any situation, for instance, to enhance the cut downs of public spending. Children that need to have a forever loving home to call their own, will likely not reject a couple based solely on their sexual orientation. Having personal experience of foster care I can say for sure, that I would have welcomed a gay couple taking care of me, instead of the religious fundamentalist I ended up with!

Erin F.

We have so many children who desperately need good homes! If you have someone who is going to open their home to a child, treat them right and raise them into a respectable member of sociey, who cares what your sexual preference is?

Heather G.
Heather G.5 years ago

what are you even talking about? oh yeah, you're writing from a SCRIPT so you don't know either.

Heather G.
Heather G.5 years ago

OK Dank (or whatever your name is today) that just proves my point doesn't it?? So it turns out its NOT a lie after all!!

Heather G.
Heather G.5 years ago

Everyone, Bethany B isn't a real person. It's just a psudonoym to hide itself behind so it can spread its bad vibes and try to cause trouble.

Enric Mestres Girbal

Probably the best idea would be for gays to adopt GIRLS and lesbians adopt BOYS. Everybody would be happy,,,,or not?

Bethany B.
Bethany B.5 years ago

@Cheryl: Yes, perverse. If ya like what ya see, go for it. If it feels good, do it. It's all OK. How's that for your enlightenment class today on how to be progressive toward tomorrow.

Bethany B.
Bethany B.5 years ago

@Heather: I say it, and you keep living up to it....... Oh, and you would never say anything mean spirited now would you? Looks like you toned down your "bullish" ways. Just putt'n a toe in to check the water first? I bet your as ugly on the outside as you are on the inside. I know your true colors. You don't have to pretend to be so sweet, and innocent :O:):):)

Bethany B.
Bethany B.5 years ago

@Bart: Gays treat each other badly enough, you don't need any help from me. You are simply having a problem with the truth.