Faith-based adoption agencies that are paid by the state of Michigan will no longer be able to turn away LGBTQ couples or individuals because of religious objections under a legal settlement announced Friday. The agreement was reached between Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel's office and lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued in on behalf of two lesbian couples and a woman who was in foster care in her teens. Michigan, like most states, contracts with private agencies to place children from troubled homes with new families. The lawsuit alleged that the same-sex couples were turned away by Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services because they are gay. A Republican-enacted law says child-placement agencies are not required to provide services that conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Gay rights, religious freedom, and the battle over adoption
Michigan Adoption Agencies Can't Discriminate Against LGBTQ In Tax-Funded Cases : NPR
As many as six million American children and adults have an LGBTQ parent, and many of these families have been formed by adoption. Check out these stats:. Keep in mind that much of this data is compiled on gay and lesbian adoption since little information is available on adoption by bi-sexuals, transgender and those who identify as queer or gender nonconforming. While we have seen large shifts in acceptance of gay and lesbian adoption, discrimination still exists.
In good faith? U.S. legal battle over gay adoption intensifies
Just before the weekend last week, Georgia lawmakers passed a bill that would allow government-backed adoption agencies to deny placing a child with parents whose values they don't believe in, whether they're single parents, unmarried, or identify as LGBTQ. As backwards as that sounds, there are a handful of other states that reportedly ban LGBTQ couples from adopting in the name of religious freedom, as ThinkProgress reported. If the Georgia bill, which passed its state legislature in a vote , according to The Hill , is signed into law, the state would join Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Michigan, and North and South Dakota as states who allow children to not be placed in loving, healthy homes simply because a government agency doesn't believe in the "lifestyle" or sexual orientation of an adoptive family , as WRAL-TV reported. Based on the wording of the bill, agencies could also theoretically decline to place a transgender kid in a foster or adoption agency.
Members of the LGBT community now have more options than ever before to build their families. While surrogacy and adoption processes are typically no different for same-sex couples than for any other hopeful parents, there are some unique considerations to take into account. There are now more married same-sex couples adopting jointly as well; these couples no longer need to complete the two-step process of first parent adoption and second parent adoption. However, the battle for legal recognition of families with same-gender parents is not over, and the gay adoption debate continues.