As the debate over same-sex marriage continues to heat up on the national stage, a group of bipartisan congressmen recently held a press conference in support of the reintroduction of a bill in support of providing more federal protections for same-sex couples. The bill is hoping to provide much clearer adoption rights for same-sex couples looking to have children.
Despite the disagreements over federal laws concerning same-sex marriages, Wheat Ridge, along with the rest of Colorado, recently enacted civil unions to give same-sex couples similar rights as married couples. The U.S. legislators sponsoring the Every Child Deserves a Family Act in both legislative houses are hoping that the bill will prohibit any adoption services organization from discriminating against any potential adoptive parent on the basis of sexual orientation or marital status.
According to the legislators, the proposal is key to solving the adoption issues faced by the country while eliminating known barriers that exist in the system against gay foster parents. Currently, there are about 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system; 104,000 of them are eligible for adoption.
The existence of alleged discriminatory policies, particularly against gay parents, is seen as a key hindrance in solving the adoption problem. There are 39 states that have some kind of barrier against lesbian, gay, or transgender people who are looking or are in the process of adopting, according to the Family Equality Council. The bill hopes to eradicate these discriminatory barriers.
Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out favoring policies on same-sex marriages, as well as adoption rights for all parents, regardless of their sexual orientation. The Academy cited studies showing that children raised by same-sex parents aren't in any way worse-off than those raised by heterosexual parents.
Popular opinions about same-sex families are changing. With more people giving their support, laws are being introduced to recognize gay rights and same-sex marriage. As supporters continue to push for supportive legislation, those looking to adopt, regardless of sexual orientation, are encouraged to speak to legal professionals with years of solid experience in family law and adoption.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Gay Adoption Bill Set To Be Reintroduced With Bipartisan Support," Amanda Terkel, May 6, 2013