Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is LGBT Adoption Controversial?

Some lawmakers certainly think LGBT adoption is controversial. For example, our last blog post described Virginia’s “conscience clause” which allows any adoption agency, including state-funded agencies, to turn away qualified adoptive parents based on an individual’s sexual orientation.

(More on that specific case can be found here.)

The Christian Post reported that White House spokesman Shin Inouye released a statement about the Virginia bill from President Obama. The statement read: "While the president does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, he has long believed that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals based on their interest in offering a loving home, not based on discriminatory and irrelevant factors."

We agree. When children are raised by loving, supportive individuals, they typically thrive – no matter what the parent's sexual orientation might be.

This upcoming weekend we are inviting the LGBT community to an adoption educational event – the LGBT Adoption cafĂ©. This FREE informational event on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 10am – 1pm will be located at the Collingswood Community Center, 30 Collings Ave., Collingswood, NJ. 

Join us if you have ever considered adoption. Learn about the adoption process, listen to a panel discussion with adoptive parents from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, talk with adoption agency staff to learn more about children waiting for families. Complimentary light brunch. 

To RSVP contact Beth Vogel at 267-443-1873 or bvogel@adopt.org. Or click here to register online.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Virginia Adoption

Virginia’s General Assembly recently passed a state law which allows any adoption agency, including state-funded agencies, to turn away qualified adoptive parents based on religious and moral beliefs, including sexual orientation. The legislation codifies last year’s State Board of Social Services regulation to allow faith-based organizations to reject prospective parents based on gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and family status. While the prevailing debate mainly focuses on faith-based convictions to join children with gay parents, the sweeping language leaves room for further discrimination by private agencies on the basis of religious and moral criteria of their choosing. Governor Robert McDonnell signed this anti-gay adoption bill when it reached his desk. Virginia now joins North Dakota as the only two states having what is termed a “conscience clause” in law. This is in contrast to nine states which explicitly prohibit this kind of discrimination in adoption. Virginia state law already prohibits unmarried couples to adopt, but does allow single people to adopt, regardless of sexual orientation.

There are approximately 1,300 children in Virginia waiting to be adopted and this law further limits the number of safe, loving and permanent caregivers that are available to them. The National Adoption Center STRONGLY rejects the premise that any prospective parent(s) should be rejected based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. What do you think?